Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Rockford IceHogs, Game 5

Texas Stars
38-24-8-6, 90 pts, 0.592
#2 Pacific Division
atRockford IceHogs
40-28-4-4, 90 pts, 0.579
#4 Central Division
May 25th at 7:00 PM
BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, IL

Stars lead 3-1
(credit: Todd Reicher)
The Richard Clarke Trophy remains at the ready in Rockford but just beyond the reach of the Texas Stars. Not that they'd touch it, anyway. 

They held a 2-1 lead in the waning minutes of game 4 but couldn't quite get the job done as Luke Johnson's late period tally sent the game to overtime. Victor Ejdsell's second goal of the night came on the power play during extended play to keep the IceHogs' season alive.

Both teams made some interesting adjustments to their lineup that will bear watching in game 4. The Stars moved Denis Gurianov down to the fourth line with Austin Fyten manning the middle next to him. It's unclear if this was a demotion or an attempt to spread scoring potential throughout the lineup. Meanwhile, the IceHogs pulled the plug on Collin Delia in favor of Jeff Glass to mind the crease. It paid dividends with Glass making 28 saves on 30 shots. 

Keep an eye on the injury report for Stars defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. He took a puck to the face in the third period on Thursday but did return to the game. John Nyberg did return to the lineup after his injury and registered one shot on goal.

The Stars have three more cracks at this thing with two potentially coming at home. Those are odds that you'll take any day. Game 5 could be the clincher in which we see the Stars ceremoniously hover around the Western Conference's richest reward. 

The puck drops at 7:00 PM CDT.

Stars injury report:
Elie (injured)
Heatherington (illness)