Stars Blow Out Wolves to Sweep Season Series, 6-2Apr 4, 2015
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Jack Campbell made 36 saves in net and Justin Dowling scored twice as the Texas Stars snapped the seven-game win streak of the Chicago Wolves and swept the season series in a 6-2 win on Saturday night at Allstate Arena in front of 7,044 in attendance.
With the win, the Stars (35-21-13-1) have pulled themselves into a tie with fifth-place Oklahoma City in the AHL's Western Conference and lowered their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to five points. Five different players scored for Texas, and for the second straight season the Stars have swept their four-game season series against the Wolves (36-26-6-1). The Stars have now won 10 of their last 13 games.
Texas concludes its Midwest road trip on Tuesday when they visit the Iowa Wild for the final time at 7 p.m.
Matt Mangene opened the game's scoring at 11:49 of the first with his first career Stars goal when his centering pass was deflected past Chicago's Jordan Binnington as Adam Burish was trying to tuck the puck under the netminder's pads to freeze play. The Wolves responded late in the period as Magnus Paajarvi and Pat Connone led a touch-passing counter attack that was finished off with Colton Parayko's third of the season to knot the game at 1-1. Campbell for the Stars weathered an early storm from the Wolves with key saves throughout the opening period to keep things tied, and set the table for the Texas offense to break out.
Texas responded with consecutive goals in period two when Derek Hulak tapped in a loose puck just 31 seconds into the frame and Dowling tallied his first of the night off a backhand shot from the right circle for a power play goal at 10:31. Both players hit the 20-goal mark for the season on the plays, giving Texas four 20-goal scorers this season along with Greg Rallo and Travis Morin. Julius Honka set up Dowling's strike off a long pass from the defensive zone.
The offense continued to roll immediately in the third with a highlight reel goal from Dowling at 1:45 to make it 4-1. The Stars' forward danced his way through two Chicago defenders before slipping around Binnington for a backhand goal that left the Allstate Arena crowd silent and immediately looking to the video board for the replay. The Wolves pulled their goaltender late in the period in desperation, but Greg Rallo at 16:55 and Brett Ritchie at 18:15 each scored empty-net goals for Texas. In between those goals, Chicago's Sebastian Wannstrom snapped home his third of the year from the right circle.
Dowling's power play goal was the Stars only man-advantage chance of the game. The Wolves finished 0-for-2 on the power play.
Campbell appeared in his 100th career game for the Stars, and with the win tied Christopher Nilstorp for the franchise record in career wins (46). Binnington took the loss stopping 24 of 27 shots.
Photo Credit: Steve Woltmann/Chicago Wolves
1. Justin Dowling (TEX)
2. Jack Campbell (TEX)
3. Greg Rallo (TEX)
Stars - 29
Wolves - 38
W - Campbell
L - Binnington