|Curtis McKenzie works the puck on Drew MacIntyre (Credit: Graig Abel)|
As has become tradition, the Toronto Marlies were the first team on the board in the contest tonight. Halfway through the first and following a media timeout, the Marlies won a faceoff back to the defenseman of the year, TJ Brennan. The blue liner sent the puck in on Nilstorp, who caught a piece of it but not all.
The frame ended with a relatively low shot total between the two teams at 8-6 for Texas. Referees T.J. Luxmore and Terry Koharski called quite a few penalties, many coincidental, as the period wore on to make sure the aggressiveness of the two teams did not get out of hand.
Texas evened things up early in the second. The answer was generated unexpectedly off the stick of Patrik Nemeth. Nemeth started the play in the Texas zone, passing to Taylor Peters and then collecting Peters' pass back. Radek Faksa got the tip of Nemeth's shot from the slot, putting it five-hole on MacIntyre. It was a solid goal for the Stars' fourth line, which has been a consistent contributor for Willie Desjardins' club this postseason.
The visitors got back to their shooting ways as the second period reached the midway point. After having a tie on shots at 11 each, Texas had 12 straight shots to none by the Marlies, a streak that extended into the early third period.
In the third, gritty winger Kevin Henderson stepped up next for his first goal of the postseason. A give and go with Chris Mueller put the puck on the stick of Brett Ritchie. Henderson tipped Ritchie's initial shot, and the puck dribbled down the back of Drew MacIntyre to put the Stars up 2-1.
The Marlies' TJ Brennan didn't wait long for his second of the game. With most of the Stars pulled in too close to Nilstorp's net, TJ Brennan was gifted a beauty of a pass by Peter Holland. Brennan blasted the puck past Nilstorp from the ladies' tees to tie things at two all.
Needing a response, Texas got one from their own league award winner, Travis Morin. Jamie Oleksiak skated down the left side and found Brendan Ranford trailing the play on the opposite side of the ice. His initial shot bounded off MacIntyre and rolled toward the goal line. Travis Morin finished off the play just as two Marlies defenders crashed the net and their own goaltender. Morin's goal came just 59 seconds after the Brennan goal.
That would end up being the game winning goal for Texas. The series continues tomorrow night with Game 4 in Toronto.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström (scratched)
Klingberg, Dowling, Campbell, Petersen (injury)
Today's attendance was 4,043.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Toronto - May 28 2014