|Spencer Abbott scores his second of the game. (Credit: Graig Abel)|
Texas gave up too many penalties and then wasn't clean enough on the kill to negate their truculence. To add insult to injury, the Stars were held scoreless on the power play despite five opportunities.
Drew MacIntyre stopped 26 of 27 shots he saw on the night. Eddie Shore Award winner TJ Brennan collected three assists on the night.
Abbott's first came early in the game. Jamie Oleksiak was called fro cross-checking just 37 seconds into the first, sending Toronto to the power play. Josh Leivo put up the screen for the Abbott shot, and the Marlies beat Nilstorp glove side for the 1-0 lead.
Just under four minutes later, Texas put Toronto on the power play again. As the penalty was coming to an end, TJ Brennan got his second primary assist of the night, making the initial shot on Nilstorp. The puck bounced out to Spencer Abbott, who was completely open in the right wing circle. He lofted it over a sprawled Texas tender for the 2-0 lead.
After twenty minutes, the Stars were being outshot 11-6, an atypical occurrence.
Abbott finished off his natural hat trick on the power play in the second period. Mike Hedden picked up a questionable roughing call. After being ridden into the board by Kevin Marshall after a shot, Hedden shoved back and got called by the crew of Terry Koharski and Dave Lewis. As the kill commenced, Travis Morin lifted the puck out of bounds from inside his zone. That set up a 1:56 long two-man advantage for the Marlies.
Spencer Abbott would not be denied. From the slot, he went stick side on Nilstorp for the 3-0 lead. Texas would put the pressure on late in the period, outshooting Toronto 8-4 over the back half of the middle frame. It was to no avail as the Stars ended 40 down 3-0.
Texas gave it their best effort in the final twenty minutes. At the halfway point of the period, they were outshooting Toronto 7-1 and earned their first shots lead of the game at 25-24.
A late power play gave Texas a further shot advantage but it wasn't enough to mount a comeback. Radek Faksa collected a late moral victory goal with an assist to Matej Stransky, breaking up the shutout bid for MacIntyre with less than two minutes left.
The Stars and Marlies will head to an all-important Game 5 on Saturday afternoon in downtown Toronto. With the Toronto win, Game 6 back in Cedar Park on Monday will be necessary to decide the series.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström, Desrosiers (scratched)
Klingberg, Dowling, Campbell, Petersen (injury)
Today's attendance was not available at publish time.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Toronto - May 28 2014