CEDAR PARK, Texas — Alex Chiasson’s tip-in goal at the 7:42 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Texas Stars won a hard-fought battle with Milwaukee Admirals.
The game didn’t start out as the typical tight-checking game you would expect between these two teams. The first period was very wide-open with Texas getting off 15 shots. The Stars missed a great scoring opportunity less than 30 seconds into the game when Justin Dowling broke in alone on Admiral goaltender Magnus Hellberg only to be thwarted.
The teams battled back and forth throughout the game, but both goaltenders were sharp and the defenses played well in front of their netminders. Stars’ goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp stopped all 21 shots he faced while Hellberg stopped 29 of 31. This was Nilstorp’s first playoff shutout.
“It’s a tight game out there,” Nilstorp said. “Both teams battled hard, but we desered to win. My defense always plays great in front of me and I really appreciate that.”
Chaisson’s goal was set up nicely by Dowling who centered the puck from the right corner past Hellberg and onto the stick of chaisson and into the net. Chaisson was just returned to Texas when the Dallas Stars failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Our line really plays well together,” Chaisson said. “(Mike) Hedden creates a lot of opportunities for us and Dowling and I see each really well and have a great chemistry together.”
Texas got a critical insurance goal with a little over six minutes remaining when Milwaukee’s Kevin Henerson inexplicitly took a roughing penalty well after an icing whistle. Just 24 seconds later, Kevin Connauton took a seemingly innocent shot from the point in the high slot. The puck never left the ice and slid by Hellberg on his left side.
The series continues on Friday night in Cedar Park where the Stars will try to end it and move on to the next round.
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