It's a win. Right now, that's saying a lot. The Stars, who had been on a 5 game losing streak, finally pulled one out.
The way it began was certainly not even close to the way it ended though. Matt Climie got the start in net. Just nine minutes into the game, Texas was already down 2-0 and it looked like it was going to be another long night for the home crowd. The Stars had come out of the blocks with a pretty good energy but then let in a soft one and the air seemed to just come out of them (and the building). They allowed another and it seemed like they were already done.
However, the Stars did a rare thing at 15:15 of the first. They scored on the power play. Dan Jancevski bombed a shot on net that Warren Peters tipped in the slot to fool Aeros goalie Anton Khudobin. Aeros lead cut to 2-1.
At 11:19 of the second, a little scuffle got started after the play ended behind the Aeros net. Aeros RW Carson McMillan and Texas forward Mathieu Tousignant got into it with Ray Sawada and few other Aeros also jumping in. The refs had gotten involved to break things up, and everyone had let their guard down. That is when McMillan cold-cocked Tousignant with the camera right on him. Tousignant fell to the ice, and the refs pulled McMillan away from the crowd. Texas D Matt Stephenson followed him all the way to the box, trading surely unprintable words. Tousignant left the game and his frozen blood had to be scraped from the ice. McMillan was assessed a match penalty for attempt to injure/deliberate injury under AHL Rule 21.1 and was immediately ejected from the game. The match penalty's 5 minute major gave the Stars a 5 minute power play. (In major penalties, the penalized team does not regain a player when the opposing team scores) This was a key chance for the Stars to capitalize.
Texas looked mostly ineffective for the first 3 minutes of the major, allowing the Aeros to gain control of the puck and clear with regularity. As the time wound down, the Stars poured it on and Mathieu Beaudoin, while falling down, put one past Khudobin and into the yawning net to tie it 2-2.
Mathieu Tousignant would come back to the ice in the 3rd with a full facemask. In the final minutes of the 3rd, Matt Climie made a great save on a 2 on 1 opportunity. One might say it was one of those 'saves he shouldn't have made' that I was talking about earlier. With the game tied at the end of regulation, we went to overtime, where the Stars were 3 for 10 on gaining the extra point.
After several times up and down the ice, the Stars really got it going. Vishnevskiy put an end to it on a sweeping goal from the left side. He skated in right-to-left and stretch out to bury it in the back of the net. And the crowd goes wild...
They did some things right, clearly. They had someone in front of the net a little bit more, but I could still stand to see more. They didn't always look for the perfect shot, either, but still only got 24 on net. Climie shut it down after 10 minutes of the first period and the Stars did seem a little more willing to block shots and get in lanes. Like I said, it's a start.
I will try to do lines for home games and away games when I can. The Stars changed it up a bit today (and why not when you've lost 5 straight) and put TOusignant on with Rallo and Gagnon and moved Wathier to the Peters line. I would like to point out that two of the Stars' lines were also number sentences tonight because I am a nerd ( 38-25=13 and 16=23-7 ).
D Garrett Stafford, RW Tyler Shelast, LW Luke Gazdic, and LW Landon Wilson were out of the lineup tonight. No real injury report in the AHL, but I am assuming that Shelast and Gazdic are scratches and Stafford and Wilson are injuries.