The top-seeded Texas Stars continue their quest for a Calder Cup tonight in game three with the Admirals - And the task of taking down a #8 seed becomes much, much harder as Milwaukee gets six NHL players sent down from the Nashville Predators.
Texas lost game two Saturday night by a score of 2-0 as they struggled to generate chances after pulling a fortunate overtime victory in game one. The 1-1 series has been penalty filled and the Stars need to connect on the power play. Perhaps Reilly Smith and Alex Chiasson, newly arrived and in for the first time (in the playoffs) tonight, can help with that.
Chiasson had been sidelined with an injured shoulder throughout the final two weeks of the NHL season, but was ready (or very near it) Saturday night before the Red Wings game and should be good to go for Texas.
Stephen at HDH expects the lineup to look something like this in the forward group:
Meanwhile they also get Jordie Benn back, and you have to think he'll be back in the lineup, possibly with Oleksiak. John Klinberg played the other night but it sounds like that experiment will be over with more experienced bodies in Benn and Fortunus likely getting the time.
Cristopher Nilstorp has started the first two games in this series, was heavily tested in game 2, and only gave up a single goal in that one. So it's unlikely Jack Campbell gets the nod any time soon. If Jim Nill ventures to Cedar Park this week/weekend, and it seems certain he will, his backup (NHL) netminder situation will have to be somewhat top-of-mind as he watches the big Swede between the pipes.
The Stars haven't won in Cedar Park since a victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on March 30th. The entire month of April was winless for Texas at home. Meanwhile, Milwaukee hasn't lost on the road since April 2nd. Their next most recent road loss before that? February 26th. Something has got to give for Texas to win this series.
So there's some pretty serious trends in need of a good reversal from Willie Desjardins' bunch tonight.
Home games are schedule for tonight and Friday and Saturday evenings. Single playoff games can be streamed on the net for $9.99 at AHL Live if you want to view such prospects as Joe Morrow and Cameron Gaunce get valuable playoff experience.