The Texas Stars lost two of three games (1-2-0) over the past week, and are now 28-14-5 on the season. Texas is first in the West Division and in second place in the Western Conference, one point behind Grand Rapids.
Texas center Travis Morin was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for January after registering 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 11 games. It was the second time this season that Morin has been the league’s player of the month.
The Stars wrap up a seven-game homestand on Tuesday and then begin a stretch of five straight on the road.
Here’s the latest on Dallas’ AHL affiliate.
Wednesday, January 29: San Antonio 4, Texas 2
The Stars lost for a second straight time at home for the first time this season, falling 4-2 to San Antonio Wednesday at Cedar Park Center. The Stars had a 46-18 shots advantage in the game, but Rampage goaltender Michael Houser stopped 44 shots. Scott Glennie and Travis Morin scored for Texas. Josh Robinson got the start in goal, stopping 14 of 18 shots.
“I thought the first period we played pretty good and the second was one of our best periods of the year,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “They’re just good. We played hard. They battled and they deserved what they got. Goals went in for them, they didn’t go in for us.”
Saturday, February 1: Texas 6, Toronto 0
Christopher Nilstorp returned from injury that kept him out a little more than a week and stopped all 19 shots he faced as the Stars defeated Toronto, 6-0, at Cedar Park Center on Saturday. Chris Mueller and Maxime Fortunus both registered two goals and one assist in the game. Curtis McKenzie and Mike Hedden also scored for the Stars, who outshot the Marlies 49-19 and scored three power play goals on 11 opportunities in the game. The victory snapped a two-game home losing streak for Texas.
“As we’ve been saying all season, we want to win at home,” said Fortunus. “It’s our turf and we need to get all the points we can at home. We really had to bounce back tonight.”
Sunday, February 2: Oklahoma City 7, Texas 4
The Stars and Oklahoma City were tied 3-3 midway through the game, but Oklahoma City rattled off three unanswered goals in a 5:58 span of the second period to take control of the game and would go on to defeat Texas, 7-4, at Cedar Park Center. McKenzie, Hedden, Brett Ritchie and Ryan Button scored for Texas. Nilstorp got the start in goal and allowed seven goals on 32 shots.
“They just beat us tonight. They were the better team. It’s pretty simple,” said Desjardins. “We have to find ways to be better.”
The week ahead
Tuesday, February 4, Oklahoma City at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 8, Texas at Abbotsford, 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 9, Texas at Abbotsford, 6:00 p.m.
*Center Travis Morin leads the AHL in scoring with 65 points and ranks second with 26 goals in 41 games played.
*Right wing Colton Sceviour leads the AHL with 27 goals and ranks third with 50 points in 40 games.
*Center Chris Mueller ranks fifth in the league with 21 goals and is tied for sixth with 43 points. Mueller is tied for the league lead with 12 power play goals.
*Left wing Curtis McKenzie leads all AHL rookies with 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) and is tied for sixth among all players in points.
*Texas ranks second in the AHL in scoring at 3.68 goals per game.
*Texas ranks 18th in the league in goals against at 2.85 per game.
*Texas leads the AHL in shots per game at 37.8.
*Texas ranks 10th in shots against at 29.3 per game.
*Texas has the league’s top ranked power play at 28.2 percent.
*Texas ranks fifth in penalty killing at 85.4 percent.
Here is the lineup Texas rolled out in its last game. Texas got healthier over the past week with the return of Brett Ritchie, Jyrki Jokipakka, Taylor Peters and Justin Dowling.
Curtis McKenzie -Travis Morin - Colton Sceviour
Mike Hedden - Justin Dowling - Brett Ritchie
Brendan Ranford - Chris Mueller - Scott Glennie
Ryan Button -Taylor Peters - Francis Wathier
Jamie Oleksiak – Derek Meech
Jyrki Jokipakka – William Wrenn
Cameron Gaunce – Maxime Fortunus
Injured: Jack Campbell, Patrik Nemeth, Toby Petersen, Taylor Vause
1/30: C/LW Dustin Jeffrey recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/30: G Pat Nagle assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/30: D Russ Sinkewich assigned to Toledo (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)
1/28: G Pat Nagle recalled to Texas (AHL) from Idaho (ECHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, went 1-1-1 over the past week. The Steelheads are 21-16-5. They rank third in the Mountain Division and fifth in the Western Conference.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.