Texas Stars Report: Stars Soldier on with West Coast Grind
Two out of three ain't bad with Texas hitting exactly as expected this week, beating teams below them in the standings and losing to one above them.
The only games on the docket this past weekend for Texas were a trio of Pacific Coast contests.
After last Saturday home game saw Texas allow 50 shots on goal, the Stars tightened up on defense and only allowed 63 shots across all three games this weekend. The result bore that out as Texas beat San Diego and Bakersfield but fell to Ontario in a tight 2-1 game.
Texas Tops Bakersfield 4-2 To Start West Coast Weekend
Radek Faksa just recently returned from the NHL and is already making an impact on the lineup. His late goal in Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers) put Texas up 3-2 and stood up as the game-winner in a 4-2 contest. The Stars also got a pair of goals from Greg Rallo and one from Mattias Nackman.
Philippe Desrosiers picked up his third victory of the year with an 18 save effort.
All-Star Brendan Ranford Pots Three to Help Stars Roll Gulls
Quietly having an All-Star season, Brendan Ranford put away three tonight in San Diego (Anaheim Ducks) to send Texas on a four game winning streak. The run ties them for their longest of the season, previously achieved in the first four games of the year.
While Texas never trailed in the game, the Gulls were never more than one behind until the final minutes saw an empty net goal from Texas. Ranford scored the game winner with under three minutes left in regulation to break up a tie at three.
The Stars had yet another low shots-against performance. They only allowed 20 shots for a second consecutive night.
Stars Drop Another One Goal Game Against Ontario
Texas fell to Ontario (Los Angeles Kings) tonight in California with another late goal being their undoing. In the season series, the Stars have seen points evaporate in the final minutes of two of the three games thus far: a 7-6 loss in Texas and tonight's loss in Ontario. Their only other game was a 3-2 OTL that saw Texas come back from down 2-0 to earn the point.
Texas got on the board in the second with an excellent individual effort off the stick of Jason Dickinson, a shorthanded tally that opened things at 1-0 Stars. The play was a good Johnny-on-the-spot goal for Dickinson, who took advantage of the misplayed puck by goalie Michael Houser. The third period saw Ontario climb back in with an early goal by Nic Dowd.
As time wound down, Greg Rallo was nabbed for hooking, teeing up the Ontario PP unit. Andrew Crescenzi found twine off a rebound with 23 seconds left in the third. With so little time left, Texas couldn't get it to OT and broke up their winning streak at four games.
The Stars have a long layoff before playing San Diego at home in back-to-back games this weekend.
The Week Ahead
Another 3-in-3 for Texas will at least contain some home cooking. The Gulls visit for Friday and Saturday games then the Stars bus to San Antonio (Colorado Avalanche) on Sunday.
Justin Dowling was kneed by Jujhar Khaira in Friday's game and missed the remaining games on the weekend. Khaira was suspended two games for the hit. Stephen Johns, Branden Troock and Devin Shore also remain out with injuries.