|Sceviour's fifteenth of the season was the difference. |
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
"We weren't happy with our first period, but the last two we did well," said Nilstorp, who was playing in his first game back from injury. "It was a big win for me and the team."
A sleepy first period which saw the Stars get outshot by the Barons 13-11 gave way to a much more engaging second where Texas put 18 shots on net to OKC's four.
"We started working harder in the second and third and got on them before they could get setup," said Coach Desjardins.
Their hard work was rewarded as Colton Sceviour and Chris Mueller connected on the power play off a misplayed puck by OKC goalie Jason LaBarbera. LaBarbera was making his first AHL start in six years, playing in the NHL since then.
"It didn't look like [LaBarbera] was going to rim it," said Sceviour. "So I went to the middle thinking he was going to go up the gut. He bobbled it just a little bit. 9/10 that play is out of the zone. That's not something you can count on but it got us off on the right foot."
Sceviour found Mueller in the slot for the game's opening goal, a power play tally and Mueller's eighth goal of the year.
LaBarbera came up big through the rest of the period despite strong Texas pressure.
"You notice a difference between NHL and AHL goalies," continued Sceviour, referring to LaBarbera. "They have a confidence and demeanor. They make tough saves look easy. He battled through traffic and made some tough saves that maybe a less-experienced goalie gives up a rebound."
Going into the third period, Texas owned just a one goal lead despite a 29-17 shots advantage and three chances on the power play, one of which found twine.
Taylor Fedun evened up the score in that third period, getting a nice feed from Linus Omark in the corner, pulling it across the crease for his third of the year.
Texas didn't let it get them down.
Sceviour explained, "We talked about going in to the third that they were going to get chances. Unfortunately we gave a good one to a skill player. Early in the year we blew some big leads and got down on ourselves. When that happened, everyone couldn't wait to get back out there and get that next one. We had an attitude on the bench that we were confident to get the next one."
Sceviour's line would generate that 'next one' just 70 seconds later. Curtis McKenzie sent a puck hard on net from the left wing half wall that deflected off the stick of Colton Sceviour on the backside of the crease for the 2-1 score. It was his 200th career point. Maxime Fortunus had the second assist.
Things got chippy as time wound down. The Stars put a lot of pressure on the OKC net and got into a few shoving matches with LaBarbera and his blue liners.
The Stars ended with 41 shots, a staple of their recent game. They will face Grand Rapids in back-to-back games this weekend.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Smith, Stransky, Button (scratch)
Tonight's attendance was 5,206.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Oklahoma City - November 27 2013