Stars Shine in Overtime in 4-3 Victory over GriffinsFeb 8, 2020
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan– The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, topped the Grand Rapids Griffins in a 4-3 overtime battle in their first of a two-game set against the Central Division rival on Saturday night. Jason Robertson posted a career-best outing, recording four points in the thrilling victory.
In a game that was ruled by special teams, Texas opened the scoring on the man advantage just six and a half minutes into the contest. Joel L’Esperance fired a one-timer toward the Griffins goal that was saved by Calvin Pickard. Robertson then tried for the rebound, but after another save from the Griffins netminder, the forward slid the puck to Anthony Louis who tucked the puck into the right side of a virtually empty net. Shortly thereafter, Oula Palve set up Robertson on a breakaway opportunity in which he went five-hole for his 18th goal of the season. The rookie stayed hot in the following minutes, scoring his second of the game. Robertson swiftly skated behind the Griffins net and tallied a goal off the skate of a Griffins defender.
The Stars held the three-goal lead for much of the middle frame but were ultimately burned on the penalty kill as the Griffins rallied for a comeback. Grand Rapids’ first goal came on the power play with only five minutes remaining in the period as traffic in front of Jake Oettinger allowed Evgeny Svechnikov to clean up a shot from Matt Puempel. The Griffins power play continued to find success, netting their second special teams goal at 18:45. Moritz Seider ripped a shot from the point and Svechnikov again got a piece of it in front of the net to record his second goal, bringing Grand Rapids within one goal of the Stars lead at 3-2.
Early in the final frame, Palve was whistled for a double minor, sending the Griffins to an extended power play. The home team converted halfway through the advantage to level the score at three thanks to Eric Tangradi’s sixth goal of the year. Texas saw a chance on the power play late in the game, but could not convert, leading to overtime for a second straight night.
Oettinger opened the frame with a save in the first 20 seconds before the momentum shifted to Texas’ side. Puempel was called for hooking less than one minute into the overtime as he dragged down Joel Hanley. Moments later, L’Esperance fueled the Stars victory as he ripped a shot from the circle off the post and into the back of the net. On the play, Robertson picked up a secondary assist to polish off a career high four-point night and just the second four point night of the season for Texas.
Each team’s respective power play unit led scoring as Texas went 2-for-4 on the advantage and Grand Rapids answered with three goals on eight opportunities. Pickard suffered the loss in goal after surrendering four goals on 33 shots. Oettinger earned the win following a 28-save performance.
Texas faces the Griffins again tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT as they close out their three-game weekend. The team then returns to Milwaukee for a rematch with the Admirals on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2020 at UWM Panther Arena at 7 p.m.
Written by Stevie Golding
Photo Credit: Grand Rapids Griffins
|Game Info||Shots||Goaltenders||3 Stars (Xerox Business Solutions Southwest)|
|Boxscore||TEX: 33||W: Jake Oettinger (TEX)||1: Jason Robertson (TEX)|
|Photo||GR: 31||OTL: Calvin Pickard (GR)||2: Evgeny Svechnikov (GR)|
|Video||3: Joel L'Esperance (TEX)|