|(Credit: Sam Iannamico)|
Texas made it interesting in the back half of the contest, but ultimately they walked away with the two points tonight in Grand Rapids. Despite taking yielding eight power play opportunities to the Griffins, Texas emerged with a 4-3 overtime victory. Jason Robertson was the big story on the night for the visitors, scoring a career-high four points.
The Stars got their money's worth out of the first period, an ideal period on the road or not. Anthony Louis went first, his ninth of the year, on the power play with Jason Robertson earning his first point of the night on the primary assist. Robertson stepped up to score the next two himself. First, a breakaway bid off the pass from Oula Palve got the lead to 2-0. Then, Robertson stole a puck off Dylan McIlrath and broke in alone. He slid the puck back through the blue and it deflected in off Brian Lashoff's skates.
The 3-0 lead was tenuous though as the Stars had to stare down three penalty kills in the period. Texas couldn't stay out of the box and it put them in hot water. Evgeni Svechnikov scored twice late in the second period on the fifth and sixth penalties of the night. Texas's Palve took a double minor for high sticking as the third period opened up. The Griffins' Eric Tangradi found twine on the far side of the net for the 3-3 tie. Luckily for the Stars, the goal came on the second half of the double by a fraction of a second.
Another stroke of good fortune in the overtime period sent Texas to the power play. Matt Puempel tripped up Joel Hanley and sent the Stars to a 4-on-3 power play in the sudden-death period. Head coach Neil Graham called a timeout to draw up a play and sent out Robertson, Gavin Bayreuther, Joel L'Esperance and Tanner Kero. A tap-pass from the blue line back to L'Esperance set up his one-timer for the full two points.
Jake Oettinger finished with 28 saves on 31 shots and did not face a single shot in overtime. The Stars jump ahead of Grand Rapids in the standings outright, retaining a hold on fourth place and a game in hand with a rematch coming tomorrow afternoon.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Mascherin, Caamano, Djuse (injury)
Tonight’s attendance was 10,834, a sellout.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Grand Rapids - February 8 2020