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Texas Stars Report

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Texas Stars went 2-1-0 over the past week. The Stars are 21-16-11 on the season and rank tenth in the Western Conference. They are one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot, and two points out of sixth place. And goaltender Jack Campbell has been sent to Idaho of the ECHL to get some playing time. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Campbell assigned to Idaho

With goaltender Jack Campbell not getting much playing time with the Texas Stars recently, the Dallas Stars have decided to send him to the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL to get games. Campbell has played just 19 games this season and hasn’t played since Jan. 20.

“Jack has been battling a lot of injuries and illnesses over the last two seasons, he is finally feeling healthy again and we just need to get him some games,” Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said. “We looked at the schedule, and it is a really good schedule in Idaho. I think over a two-week period there are nine games, whether he’ll play all those games we’ll play it by ear.”

Campbell, Dallas’ first round pick (11th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, is in his third full professional season, and it’s been a tough one. He was slowed earlier in the season by illness. He’s 3-10-4 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .890 save percentage He had stellar numbers last season (1.49/.942) but his playing time was limited to 20 games, including playoffs, due to a knee injury.

But Campbell is healthy now, and the Stars believe he needs to play some games and the schedule in Idaho will give him that opportunity.

“He can go down there, get playing and get lots of games in and come back up to Texas and be ready to go,” said Nill.

Dallas assigned goaltender Henri Kiviaho from Idaho to Texas. Kiviaho, a fifth-round pick in 2012, is 6-5-1 in the ECHL with a 2.95 goals-against average and .895 save percentage.

Thursday February 5: Texas 5, San Antonio 2

Five different Texas players scored goals as the Stars won, 5-2, in San Antonio on Thursday. Julius Honka, Jamie Oleksiak, Matej Stransky, Greg Rallo and Brendan Ranford scored goals for Texas. Travis Morin chipped in three assists. Rallo’s power-play goal at 5:17 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and held up as the game-winner. Anders Lindback stopped 30 of 32 shots in the final game of his conditioning assignment with Texas.

Sunday February 8: Oklahoma City 3, Texas 2

In their final regular season game at Cedar Park Center, the Oklahoma City Barons defeated Texas, 3-2, Sunday evening. The Barons, who will move to Bakersfield, California next season, scored a pair of second-period goals to take a 3-1 lead and then held off the Stars. Greg Rallo and Derek Hulak scored for Texas. Jussi Rynnas stopped 25 shots.

Tuesday February 10: Texas 6, San Antonio 1

Gemel Smith scored two goals and Jamie Oleksiak tallied a power play goal and had two assists as the Stars routed San Antonio, 6-1, at Cedar Park Center Tuesday night.

“[Oleksiak] is an offensive defenseman. He has a lot of skill, and I thought he had confidence tonight,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game. “He’s been challenged down here to play that heavy game. We know he can respond on the power play, and he got some power play time tonight. He stepped up. It was good to see him contribute.

“I thought Smitty was our best player against Oklahoma City the other night and he picked up right where he left off. He was great tonight. He has great legs, skates well, and he is strong on the puck. He was solid for us and scored a big goal in the second period.”

Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a Cameron Gaunce goal and then blew the game open with a four-goal second period. Curtis McKenzie and Greg Rallo also scored for Texas. Jussi Rynnas stopped 28 of 29 shots.

The week ahead

Friday February 13, Texas at Iowa, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday February 14, Texas at Iowa, 7:00 p.m.

Notes

*The Stars are 5-1-2 in their past eight games.

*The Stars play their next six games on the road. It’s their longest road trip of the season.

*Center Travis Morin has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his past 15 games.

*Forward Brendan Ranford has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past 17 games.

*Forward Derek Hulak has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in his past 22 games.

*Defenseman Julius Honka has points in five of his past seven games (three goals, three assists).

*Forward Greg Rallo is on a three-game goal scoring streak.

Here is where Texas ranks in some key statistical categories.

Goals for: 2.96 (9th)
Goals against: 2.96 (21st)
Shots for: 32.5 (6th)
Shots against: 31.6 (23rd)
Power play: 19.0 (6th)
Penalty kill: 87.3 (2nd)

Texas lineup

Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.

Curtis McKenzieTravis MorinBrendan Ranford
Derek Hulak – Gemel Smith – Greg Rallo
Branden Troock – Eric Faille – Matej Stransky
Kevin Henderson – Taylor Peters – Matt Mangene

Cameron GaunceJamie Oleksiak
Derek Meech – Julius Honka
William Wrenn – Scott Valentine

Jussi Rynnas
Henri Kiviaho

Transactions

2/9: G Jack Campbell assigned to Idaho (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)

2/9: G Henri Kiviaho assigned to Texas (AHL) from Idaho (ECHL)

2/6: G Anders Lindback recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)

2/6: G Jussi Rynnas assigned to Texas (AHL) from Dallas (NHL)

2/6: C Taylor Peters assigned to Texas (AHL) from Idaho (ECHL)

2/5: RW Brett Ritchie recalled to Dallas (NHL) from Texas (AHL)

2/5: D Matt Mangene signed to standard player contract by Texas (AHL)

2/3: G Maxime Lagace assigned to Bakersfield (ECHL) from Texas (AHL)

Idaho Steelheads

The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, won their only game last week and are now 28-14-4 on the season. The Steelheads currently rank third in the Pacific Division.

Stars goaltending prospect Henri Kiviaho stopped 18 of 19 shots in Idaho’s 6-1 win over Utah last week.

Click here for Texas Stars statistics

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.

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