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Reilly Smith gets shot of confidence from trip to AHL

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Reilly Smith played in the AHL Tuesday night and you could argue that he was the best player on the ice in the Texas Stars’ 7-6 overtime win over the Houston Aeros.

He had one goal, one assist, three shots and a game-best plus-four rating. His assist on the goal that put Texas up 6-5 was a gem. Smith made a nifty move to shake off a Houston defender, came out from behind the Houston net and backhanded the puck to pinching defenseman Tyler Sloan, who scored from close range.

“I definitely felt more confident on the ice down there, and I felt like I was able to do a little more with the puck,” said Smith, who was recalled to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. “I think I had more time with the puck in the first period than in my last couple games up here. It was good to get the confidence back up.”

At the NHL level, the confidence has taken a hit lately for Smith. He was a healthy scratch in two Dallas Stars games last week, but did get into the lineup for Monday’s game against Minnesota when there was an open spot after Brenden Morrow was traded to Pittsburgh. Over his last nine games played he has one assist and four shots on goal.

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