Power Play Shines in Stars 4-3 Win Over MilwaukeeMar 14, 2015
CEDAR PARK, Texas -- The power play for the Texas Stars struck three times on the night, including twice in the first period, to spark a 4-3 win over the visiting Milwaukee Admirals in a battle of two teams in the middle of the AHL's Western Conference playoff race on Saturday night at Cedar Park Center in front of 4,709 in attendance.
Greg Rallo led all skaters with three points on a goal and two assists. The veteran forward reached the 20-goal mark for the third time in his AHL career with one of the Stars' first period power play goals. With the win the Stars (27-18-13-1) maintain their hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL's Western Conference, while also closing the gap on seventh-place Hamilton to one point and sixth-place Milwaukee to three points.
Texas and Milwaukee close out their weekend set on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Cedar Park Center.
After Colton Sissons made it a 4-3 game with just over a minute to play, the Stars withstood a frantic rush from the Admirals (31-21-5-4) to score the equalizer with the extra attacker on the ice. Jussi Rynnas stopped 12 of 13 shots in the third to hold off the Milwaukee push, and finished with 29 saves overall for the Stars to earn his 20th win of the year.
The Texas power play unit set the tone against one of the AHL's top penalty killing units on the road, opening up the scoring at 2:54 of the first when Scott Glennie forced in a crossing feed from Justin Dowling for his 10th of the season. Just over three minutes later, Travis Morin wristed home a crossing pass from Rallo, who fed the Stars leading scorer from the right side of the slot with the Admiral defense collapsing down on him. It was Morin's 18th goal and team-leading 48th point of the season.
Rallo then found the scoresheet himself with his team-leading 20th and ninth power play goal of the season. Rallo slipped home a rebound from Derek Meech's slap shot in the right circle at 8:56. Kevin Fiala ended the run for the Stars, putting Milwaukee on the board late in the period from the slot to make it 3-1.
Midway through the second period, Derek Hulak scored for the third straight game after finding a loose puck in the crease off Marek Mazanec's initial save on a Rallo deflection. It was the rookie's 15th of the season and also extended the point streak for Stars captain Maxime Fortunus, who tallied an assist, to five games. In the closing seconds of the period, Anthony Bitetto slipped a backhand shot past Rynnas driving through the left circle to cut the Texas lead to 4-2.
The Stars have now scored five power play goals in their past two games and 13 over their last 11 after finishing 3-for-5 on the night. Texas also held the Milwaukee power play in check killing off both of the Admirals' chances.
Mazanec took the loss for the visiting Admirals, stopping 19 shots. Stars defenseman Scott Valentine registered an assist and a fighting major against his former team. Kevin Henderson was also facing off against his former club in Milwaukee. Valentine (189 games) and Henderson (146 games) each spent three seasons with the Admirals prior to joining Texas.
Photo Credit: Christina Shaprio/Texas Stars
1. Greg Rallo (TEX)
2. Travis Morin (TEX)
3. Scott Valentine (TEX)
Stars - 23
Admirals - 32
W - Rynnas
L - Mazanec