Texas Stars defeat Grand Rapids to push winning streak to three games

The Texas Stars ran their winning streak to three games Friday night, defeating the Grand Rapids Griffins, 3-1, at Van Andel Arena.

The Stars, who have won six of their last eight games (6-1-1-0), improved to 9-7-1-1 on the season.

Reilly Smith, Jordie Benn and Alex Chiasson scored for the Stars, who have won four straight on the road. Cristopher Nilstorp got the start in goal, and stopped 22 of 23 shots for his fifth win of the season.

The Stars controlled play in the first period and had an 11-5 shots advantage late in the period, but the Griffins scored on their sixth shot to take a 1-0 lead. Landon Ferraro skated down the left wall, cut into the circle and beat Nilstorp with a wrist shot at the 17:18 mark of the first.

Grand Rapids held their lead through most of the second period, but the Stars struck with 39 seconds left to tie the game at 1-1. After a Cam Barker shot rebounded off the endboards, Smith backhanded it into the net to tie the game.

The Stars scored two goals 43 seconds apart early in the third period to take control of the contest. The first one came on the power play. Benn pinched in from the blue line, took a backhand pass from Colton Sceviour and beat Griffins goalie Thomas McCollum from close range at the 3:29 mark.

Less than a minute later the Stars had a two-goal lead, Smith drove the net, Brenden Dillon got the puck, put a shot on goal and Chiasson tipped it past McCollum.

The Griffins had a late power play chance, and then pulled their goaltender but couldn’t cut into the Stars’ lead.

Notes

*Texas outshot Grand Rapids 32-23 in the game.

*Over his last seven starts, Cristopher Nilstorp has a 1.78 goals against average and .930 save percentage.

*After not scoring a goal in his first 16 games, Reilly Smith has tallied in each of the last two.

*Patrik Nemeth has assists in three straight games.

*Jordie Benn has scored in consecutive games. Benn has three goals this season, all on the power play.

*Texas was 1-4 on the power play. The Stars have scored on the power play in seven of their last nine games and are 10-41 (24.4 percent) during that stretch.

*The Stars were 2-2 on the penalty kill. The Stars are 40-45 (88.9 percent) on the PK over their last nine games.

Texas lineup

R. Smith-Eakin-Chiasson
Fraser-Morin-Sceviour
Wathier-Petersen-Vincour
Hedden-Roussel-Glennie

Barker-Fortunus
Benn-Oleksiak
Nemeth-Dillon

Nilstorp (starter)
Campbell (backup)

Scratches: Gazdic, Sloan, Vause

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