Friday, April 8, 2016

Texas Stars Not Gritty Enough, Get Shutout 3-0

Stars must wait to clinch playoff berth
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Needing a point to clinch a playoff spot, the Texas Stars didn't get dirty enough to earn a goal against the desperate San Jose Barracuda tonight. Texas was shutout at home 3-0 despite a 33 shot effort that saw them go scoreless on six power plays.

"I thought we did some good things but we didn't have a lot of penetration to their net," said Coach Laxdal. "We had perimeter looks and we didn't bear down on our chances."

Aaron Dell earned a shutout for San Jose, but Texas didn't make it tough on him, according to Matej Stransky, "He was good to get the shutout, but we have to make it harder on him."

The Stars earned six power play chances but handed San Jose seven, one of which they cashed in on in the second period. With a total of 62 minutes of penalties in the game, it was tough to get any sort of flow.

"It's tough to keep the flow going with a lot of guys playing a lot of minutes," said Jason Dickinson. "A lot of guys sit for a couple of minutes, and they lose that jam they had going."

San Jose captain Bryan Lerg opened the scoring and notched the only goal his club would need, in the end, on a greasy play at the net. Coach Laxdal noted that the energy on the Barracuda bench after the first goal was clear. San Jose is up against the wall and fighting for their playoff lives. Tonight, they simply wanted it more.

Laxdal continued, "They have a sense of urgency. We have to play with a sense of urgency. We haven't clinched anything yet. We don't want to be given [that point], we want to earn it."

A San Jose power play in the second period, which was marked as 5-on-4 but really occurred before Lindell could rejoin the play, put another nail in the coffin.

It was a familiar tune after the game with players noting that Texas needs to go to the dirty areas to score against this goaltender. San Jose plays a solid defensive game and perimeter shots won't get it done against Dell.

Dickinson commented, "He's good on first opportunities. You have to get in his eyes and create second chances."

Laxdal continued, "We were a little perimeter in offense. We have to be willing to go to the dirty areas. We have to be willing to stop in them. We had better looks than they did, but they got a greasy one [in the first]. We have to get a little dirtier."

Texas will have that chance for redemption tomorrow against these same San Jose Barracuda, still needing just one point to clinch a playoff spot.

Tonight's lines:
Elie-Dowling-Ranford
Hulak-Morin-Rallo
Smith-Dickinson-Stransky
Army-McMurtry-Troock

Backman-Honka
Hansson-Lindell
Blacker-Bystrom

Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Faksa, Ritchie, Johns, McKenzie (call up)
Shore, Ully (injury)
Evans, Kane, Mangene (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 6,458.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. San Jose - April 8 2016

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