The Texas Stars snapped a four-game winless streak (0-3-0-1) with a 4-2 win in Houston Sunday evening. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 26 shots and Cody Eakin, Tomas Vincour, Travis Morin and Antoine Roussel scored goals for the Stars, who improved to 4-6-0-1 on the season.
“(The win) was a big morale booster for us,” said Stars forward Toby Petersen. “We’ve been slipping a little bit. We’ve been working hard, but haven’t had much to show for it. Tonight it finally paid off.”
After scoring just 16 goals in their first nine games, the Stars have scored eight goals over the last two games and picked up three points (1-0-0-1). The power play scored again Sunday, giving Texas three power play goals in their last two contests after they were able to tally only three in the first nine games. The penalty kill was 5-6 Sunday and is 9-10 over the last two games.
“Guys kept believing, working hard and shooting the puck,” said Stars coach Willie Desjardins. “We brought some good energy for our third game in three nights. It was a big win.”
The Stars had three power plays in the first five minutes of the game Sunday, and they cashed in on the first one to take a 1-0 lead. Cam Barker sent a long pass to Eakin, who shook off a defenseman and scored from the bottom of the left circle 2:41 into the game.
The Stars couldn’t take advantage of a 2:00 five-on-three power play, but they did make it 2-0 with an even strength goal at 9:03 of the first when Reilly Smith set up Vincour, who scored on a wrist shot off the rush.
Houston’s Kris Foucault scored on the power play at the 11:44 mark to make it a 2-1 game, but the Stars extended their lead to 3-1 a little less than four minutes later when Morin redirected a Jamie Oleksiak shot from the point into the net.
The Aeros scored the only goal of the second period. Jason Zucker scored off a rebound at the 11:50 mark to cut Texas’ lead to 3-2.
The Stars made it a 4-2 game early in the third period. Scott Glennie centered a puck from the goal line off the rush and Roussel scored off a scramble in front of the net at the 2:19 mark.
The Stars killed a couple of Houston power plays late in the game to preserve their lead.
*With Sunday’s win, Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp snapped a personal four-game losing streak. He is now 2-4-0 on the season.
*Texas is 3-0-0-0 when scoring the first goal this season. They are 1-6-0-1 when surrendering the first goal.
*Texas defenseman Cam Barker has four assists over the last two games.
*Texas is 3-13 on the power play over the last two games. The Stars were 3-39 on the power play over the first nine games.
Scratches: A. Smith, Vause, Hedden