Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 27 shots for his third shutout of the season, and Reilly Smith scored one goal and added one assist as the Texas Stars extended their points streak to seven games with a 2-0 victory over the San Antonio Rampage at Cedar Park Center Wednesday night.
“We probably didn’t play our best game tonight, but it was good to get two points,” said Smith.
The Stars are 5-0-1-1 in their last seven games and 8-1-1-1 over their last 11 contests.
“We have played well,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “We’ve had a lot of road games. I don’t think were as good as we have been on the road, but San Antonio played really well. They’ve got a good team, they battled hard tonight and they didn’t give us a lot.”
Nilstorp came up with a big save early, stacking the pads to stop Greg Rallo on a Rampage two-on-one rush.
The Stars scored at the 5:45 mark to take a 1-0 lead. After a San Antonio give away, Smith cut from the left boards to the slot and beat Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom with a backhand shot.
There was no scoring in the second, but the Stars scored early in the third to make it a 2-0 game. Smith picked off a Markstrom pass along the right boards and set up Alex Chiasson, who scored off a one-timer from the slot 1:02 into the third.
The Rampage had a chance to climb back into it with a full two minutes of five-on-three power play time with just under 15 minutes left in the game, but some good work by Nilstorp, Cody Eakin, Jamie Oleksiak and the rest of the Stars’ penalty killers prevented San Antonio from cutting into the lead.
Sixteen of Nilstorp’s 27 saves came in the third period.
The highlight of the third was Oleksiak pounding San Antonio’s Alex Petrovic in a fight. Petrovic went after Oleksiak after the 6-7, 254-pound defenseman put a big hit on a Rampage forward.
“He had his head down, I figured I would hold the line, stepped up on him and got a pretty good hit,” Oleksiak said. “Petrovic stepped up for his teammate. Kudos to Petro. It was nice to get on the winning side of the fight, but I think he did a good job and it took a lot of courage to step up like that.”
*Excluding goals awarded for shootout wins, the Stars have allowed just six goals over their last six games.
*Over his last 13 stars, Cristopher Nilstorp is 9-3-0 with a 1.57 goals against average and .939 save percentage.
*Reilly Smith has seven goals in his last ten games.
*Texas was 0-2 on the power play in the game.
*The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are 20-21 (95.2 percent) on the PK over the last six games.
Scratched: Labrie, Vause