Toronto Tops Texas Stars in Game 1 of Conference Finals

Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 7:52 AM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Toronto Tops Texas Stars in Game 1 of Conference Finals

The Texas Stars controlled play Friday night and they dominated the shots on goal category, 50-19, but it didn’t add up to a victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Toronto Marlies goaltender Drew MacIntyre stopped 49 shots and his teammates made the most of their opportunities in defeating the Stars, 5-1, at Cedar Park Center.

“We had to be better early. Once you get behind you are going to generate a lot. They were sitting back because we had to come after them,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “They played real well. They outplayed us. Give them credit. “

“We had huge mistakes that ended up in the back of our net,” said Texas forward Chris Mueller. “We gave them Grade A chances and a lot of our chances weren’t Grade A chances.”

The Marlies scored on their first shot of the game and then scored two goals in a 13-second span in the second period to build a 3-0 lead. The Stars had a 21-4 shots advantage in the third period, but could only get a late power play goal with the goaltender pulled for a six-on-four advantage. Toronto scored twice into an empty net to seal the victory.

“We had lots of chances. We had four or five great chances with empty nets where we didn’t score,” said Desjardins. “I thought they played well and defended really well, but we had our chances and didn’t score.”

The Stars suffered their first home loss of the postseason and trail in a series for the first time. Toronto improved to 8-0 in the postseason and have now outscored their opposition 35-12. MacIntyre, the 30-year-old minor league veteran, lowered his goals against average to 1.49 and raised his save percentage to .955 in the postseason.

“He played good,” said Mueller. “I think we can penetrate more. We had a lot of shots from the outside. But he’s a good goalie.”

Mueller scored the lone goal for Texas. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal and stopped 14 of 17 shots.

The Stars outshot the Marlies 12-9 in the first period, but Toronto scored on its first shot to take a 1-0 lead when Brandon Kozun split the Texas defense, broke in alone on net and beat Nilstorp with a wrist shot 3:11 into the game.

The Marlies extended their lead to 3-0 in the second, scoring two goals in a span of 13 seconds. T.J. Brennan scored from the slot off the rush with Toronto on a power play at the 7:15 mark and then after a Texas turnover, Peter Holland scored from the slot at the 7:28 mark to make it a 3-0 game.

Shots were 21-5 in favor of the Stars in the third, but they still struggled to crack MacIntyre. The Stars went on a power play midway through the period and halfway through it – with just under nine minutes left in the game – they pulled Nilstorp for a six-on-four advantage. They still couldn’t score. They kept Nilstorp on the bench, got another power play with five minutes left and finally broke through when Mueller scored off a one-timer from the left circle with 4:27 remaining that made it a 3-1 game.

But the Marlies sealed the win with empty net goals by Sam Carrick and Jerred Smithson to make it a 5-1 final.

Notes

*The Toronto Marlies have not trailed in a game so far this postseason.

*Toronto is 5-0 on the road in the playoffs and has outscored the opposition 25-9.

*Texas was 1-6 on the power play.

*Toronto was 1-2 on the power play.

*Texas forward Mike Hedden and Toronto forward Jerry D’Amigo both had seven game points streaks snapped.

*Jack Campbell, who was injured in the Grand Rapids series, did not dress Friday. Josh Robinson backed up Cristopher Nilstorp.

*Justin Dowling and Toby Petersen also were out due to injury for Texas.

Stars lineup

Curtis McKenzie- Travis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Mike Hedden – Dustin JeffreyScott Glennie
Kevin Henderson – Chris Mueller – Scott Ritchie
Derek Hulak – Radek FaksaMatej Stransky

Patrik NemethJyrki Jokipakka
Jamie Oleksiak – Derek Meech
Cameron GaunceMaxime Fortunus

Cristopher Nilstorp
Josh Robinson

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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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