Texas Stars Inch Closer to Playoffs with 4-3 Shootout Win

Curtis McKenzie stepped up this evening to drive the Stars to a 4-3 shootout victory in Charlotte. Texas and the Checkers traded goals with each other throughout the contest. The final differential came in the shootout with Matej Stransky scoring the only goal of the skills competition.

Jack Campbell picked up his fifth win of the AHL season.

Here's the release:
Curtis McKenzie tallied a three-point night, and Jack Campbell stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout to lead the Texas Stars to a 4-3 victory over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday night in front 6,808 fans at Bojangles Coliseum.

With the win, Texas lowered their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to four points. The Stars (38-24-7-3) split their season series with Charlotte (35-27-3-5) as both teams won a pair of games against the other this season. Julius Honka extended his point streak to five games with a goal for Texas.

The Stars return home to host the San Jose Barracuda on Friday at 7:30 p.m. CST as part of a two-game set between the two teams. Texas will have a chance to lock up a playoff spot against the Barracuda over the weekend.

Campbell stopped Sergei Tolchinsky, Derek Arnold and Derek Ryan in the shootout. Matej Stransky scored the lone shootout goal for the Stars. Both teams needed the extra frames after Charlotte battled back in the third to knot the score at 3-3. Brock McGinn slipped a loose puck past a sprawled out Campbell at 3:49 of the third to tie the game at two, but Texas responded off a blast from Honka at the right circle at 4:23 for his 11th of the year. Just over two minutes later, Tolchinski added his second of the game for the Checkers to tie the score again.

After a scoreless first period, the Texas special teams units went to work in the second. McKeznie opened up the scoring at 3:04 on a shorthanded breakaway goal for his 21st of the season. Charlotte responded at 13:37 when Tolchinsky stuffed home a loose puck in the goal crease, but Esa Lindell slipped a power play goal through Checker goaltender Daniel Altshuller four minutes later for his 16th of the season.

McKenzie picked up the assist on Lindell’s man-advantage goal to make it 2-1 Texas.

Campbell earned his fifth win of the year in net with 33 saves. Altshuller suffered the loss in his only game against Texas with 23 stops.

Texas finished 1-for-3 on the power play. Charlotte went 0-for-2.

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Faksa, Ritchie, Johns (call up)
Shore, Ully (injury)
Lagace (illness)
Evans, Troock, Kane, Bystrom (scratch)

Tonight's attendance was 6,808.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Charlotte - April 2 2016