The Texas Stars’ three-game winning streak and four-game points streak came to an end Wednesday night with a 6-4 loss to the Oklahoma City Barons at Cedar Park Center.
The Stars built a 3-1 lead in the first period, but the Barons scored four unanswered goals in the second period to take control of the game.
“We’ve had a couple of real good second periods in the past, but tonight they got a few things going their way,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “They are an explosive team and once they get going they are hard to stop. We let them get going a little bit, but we were still there in the end.”
It was the third straight win and fourth in the last five games for Oklahoma City, which features young Edmonton Oilers stars Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle and highly touted defense prospect Justin Schultz.
“We got a few bounces that didn’t go our way. We gave them some stuff that you can’t give a team like that,” said Stars forward Colton Sceviour, who had a goal and two assists in the game. “They are a highly skilled team.”
The Barons struck 1:47 into the game, ending Texas goalie Cristopher Nilstorp’s shutout streak at 154:56. Hall set up Eberle, who scored from close range.
The Stars bounced back with three unanswered goals. Cam Barker scored 2:31 after the Eberle goal, beating Barons goalie Yan Danis with a shot from the point at the 4:18 mark of the first.
Sceviour put the Stars up 2-1 with a shorthanded goal. Sceviour skated down the left wall, cut to the slot and beat Danis with a wrist shot at 14:06 of the first.
The Stars tallied on the power play with 51 seconds left in the period to make it a 3-1 game. Jordie Benn knocked home the rebound of a Sceviour shot.
The Barons came to life in the second, scoring four goals in 8:18 to build a 5-3 lead in the game. Teemu Hartikainen scored a wrist shot from the left circle at 5:15 to make it a 3-2 game and 1:28 later Toni Rajala scored on an odd-man rush where it appeared the Barons may have been offside, but no call and the game was tied at 3-3.
Justin Schultz scored from the top of the right circle at 9:22 of the second to put the Barons up 4-3 and Hall scored on a five-on-three power play a little more than four minutes later to make it a 5-3 game.
The Stars controlled play in the third period. The Stars missed on some power play chances in the period, but scored another shorthanded goal to make it a 5-4 game. Antoine Roussel took a pass from Sceviour, broke in on net and scored off a backhand shot with 5:13 left.
But the Barons got a power play chance with just over two minutes remaining and Martin Marincin cashed in to give Oklahoma City a 6-4 lead that would hold up until the final buzzer and put an end to Texas’ winning streak.
“We know what we used to be successful in the other three games and we’ve got to get back to that,” said Sceviour. “This is one game. We know what we need to do to get to playing the way we were before.”
*Oklahoma City outshot Texas 34-27.
*Texas was 1-7 on the power play and 4-6 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars scored twice shorthanded, giving them four shorthanded goals on the season.
*Defenseman Hubert Labrie, who was called up from Idaho of the ECHL on Tuesday, made his season debut with Texas and was paired with Brenden Dillon.
*Austin Smith, who was assigned to Idaho on Tuesday, scored the game-winning goal as Idaho defeated Alaska, 2-1, Saturday night.
Scratches: Nemeth, Sloan, Hedden, Vause