Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars at Toronto Marlies, Game 3

Texas Stars
48-18-3-7, 106 pts
#1 Western Conference
atToronto Marlies
45-25-2-4, 96 pts
#3 Western Conference
Series tied 1-1

May 28th at 6:00 PM
Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON

Texas had to have Game 2. The Stars pelted Drew MacIntyre with 102 shots over just two regulation games. That is an average of 17 shots per period, five more than the Stars' season average of 12 in each frame. Getting 50 shots is a pretty good way to win most nights, and Texas can probably do well if they can keep that up. But they can't count on it.

Coach Desjardins agreed, "We're not going to get fifty every night. We've got to find a way to win with fewer shots."

The Stars managed to get MacIntyre off his game with an early power play goal, eventually putting five goals past the PEI native netminder. MacIntyre has allowed five or more goals just three times this season before Monday night. In each case, he returned with a win in the next game, averaging a 1.67 GAA and .935 SV%. Granted, the quality of competition was lower. Two of those wins came against non-playoff teams Lake Erie and Hamilton. Eastern Conference finalist contender St. John's was the third.

Toronto had a few streaks snapped at the Cedar Park Center, including their playoff win streak and streak of not trailing in the playoffs. Texas still needs to break up their home dominance. The Marlies have not lost at Ricoh Coliseum since April 5th, a 4-3 defeat against the Rochester Americans. In the playoffs, they are a perfect 3-0 at home. They went to overtime once against Chicago but otherwise shutout opponents. They are outscoring visitors 10-3 in the postseason and have two clean sheets to boot.

The Stars need to focus on their start in Toronto. Texas has a win in the series but they still haven't scored the first goal of a game. The Marlies are a very good team when playing with the lead so one key has to be not allowing them to attain one.

It seems the Taylor Peters fourth line experiment went well for Coach Desjardins, so it would be likely he will stay in the lineup. Having a physical 6'3" 212 lbs player against this heavy Marlies team as opposed to the 5'11" 175 Hulak is a benefit. That's no knock against Hulak; it's just that he isn't suited for the fourth line role against a team like Toronto.

Don't forget the Cedar Park Center will be hosting a watch party for tonight's game in the bowl. Attendance was great for watch parties in the inaugural year, and Texas is surely hoping for a good showing.

Stars injury/call up report:
Klingberg, Dowling, Campbell, Petersen (injury)

Website: torontomarlies.com
Blog (official): Marlies Blog
Play by play voice: @HockeyCrock
Leafs TV correspondent: @HockeyAbbs
Twitter: @TorontoMarlies

2 comments:

  1. No matter which team makes it out of this series, they are going to be pretty beat up. This is a tough series on both teams. I have never seen this level of physicality in the AHL playoffs before. It's quite amazing no one has been injured to the point of leaving a game or not playing the next yet.

    Speaking of that - any word on Dowling's return? Seem's he and Ranford would be likely injury recipients due to their size.

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