ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Krys Kolanos showed off a little NHL expertise in his return to the Abbotsford Heat.
Kolanos and Ben Walter scored power-play goals 2:27 apart in the first period as the Heat held off the Texas Stars for a 2-1 win in American Hockey League action Friday night.
Kolanos came out from behind the net and wired the puck over the shoulder of Andrew Raycroft for his 19th of the year at 2:33. It was the Calgary native's first game since being re-assigned to the Heat by the Flames.
"Krys does what Krys does," said Abbotsford head coach Troy Ward. "Him going behind (the net) is not just something he dreamt up. He understands where to go and how to move and get into spaces where he can shoot the puck."
Abbotsford (31-21-5) went 2-for-4 with the man advantage and moved past the idle Chicago Wolves into fourth in the Western Conference.
Angelo Esposito scored the goal for Texas (24-28-4), also on the power play. The Stars are last in the Western Conference.
Walter and Ryan Howse worked a give-and-go down low that ended with Walter's 12th of the season at 5:00. After going pointless in his first 21 professional games Howse now has four points in seven games.
"Getting two goals from two different units was important for our team," said Kolanos. "(But) I felt like we could have put the nail in the coffin late in the game and we didn't so we still have some work to do. I don't think we can be complacent with how the game started for us on the power play."
The Stars got on the board on their first power play of the game. Esposito took a feed from Travis Morin, walked in towards the net picked the top right corner on Abbotsford's Danny Taylor at 7:32.
About a minute into the second period Morin raised his arms in celebration when he thought he had tied it, but his wrist shot from the face-off dot ricocheted off the goaltender???s arm and then off the iron and stayed out.
"Danny's got his swagger back," said Ward. "Wins do that for a goaltender."
Taylor made 22 saves for his second consecutive victory while Raycroft stopped 27 shots in the loss.
"They've got great skill up front though I know their record doesn't show it," said Taylor. "There's a couple that went off the crossbar tonight. Those were absolute rockets. Some days those go in and tonight they didn't."
The Heat held the Stars to just five shots in the third period and is 5-1-2 in their last eight games.
"This has got to be one of the best games we played as a team all year," said Taylor. "Coming off a long road trip in the past we've been a bit sluggish out of the gate but I thought we were excellent from start to finish."
The two teams meet again Sunday afternoon at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.