Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at San Diego Gulls, Game 3

Texas Stars
40-25-8-3, 91 pts, 0.599
#3 Pacific Division
atSan Diego Gulls
39-23-4-2, 84 pts, 0.618
#2 Pacific Division
Series tied 1-1

April 28th at 9:05 PM
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA

Tonight, Texas takes the series to San Diego with a split of their home games in hand. It's now a best of three, but every game is a road game.

That might not be a bad challenge for the Stars, who swept their three games in San Diego in the season series. While coaches and players discount the season series in interviews, it certainly matters somewhat to know you can win in a building. The Stars outscored the Gulls 16-9 across those three wins, allowing three goals each time.

Speaking of stopping pucks, one big question is already answered for Texas. Jack Campbell will start in Game 3. His performance in Game 2 didn't have to be perfect, given the five goal outburst by the Stars, but it was pretty good, stopping 25 of 26.

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Stars learned pretty quickly in the series that the power play is going to be a huge factor. Of the 10 goals scored in the series, three have been on special teams. Additionally, the undsiciplined Gulls killed any chance they had at a comeback with a parade to the penalty box in Game 2. In the opposite way, Texas' impotence on the power play in Game 1 put them on the back foot throughout the contest. The power play, which was supposed to push their momentum forward, became a stumbling block.

At this point, don't expect these teams to change their styles. The series reminds me a lot of the Toronto-Texas battle in 2014. That series took seven games, and my prediction for this series before it started was a full slate of five. Nothing I've seen so far changes that expectation.

Stars injury/call up report:
Shore, Ully, Troock (injury, out for season)
Rallo (injury, lower body)

Gulls Web Resources:
Twitter: @SDGullsAHL
Twitter: @619sports (PBP)
Twitter: @danarelAHL