After missing the final couple weeks of the NHL season, Alex Chiasson was back on the ice for the Texas Stars Wednesday night and he picked up right where he left off with the Dallas Stars. He scored another goal, and this one was big.
Chiasson’s goal with 12:18 left in the third period snapped a scoreless tie and held up as the game-winner as the Texas Stars defeated the Milwaukee Admirals, 2-0, at Cedar Park Center to take a 2-1 lead in their first round Calder Cup playoff series.
“You want to be that player. You want to be that guy that steps up and lifts your team up,” said Chiasson. “There are a lot of guys here that can do that, and I just want to show what I am capable of.”
Chiasson fought his way to the slot, took a pass from Justin Dowling and whipped the puck past Admirals goaltender Magnus Hellberg to give Texas a 1-0 lead.
“That’s what playoff hockey is all about,” said Chiasson. “Every inch matters. I had a couple chances in the game, maybe I could have shot a couple more. Myself, Dowling and (Mike) Hedden have had great chemistry the last couple months since the lockout. I am glad to be back, helping those guys and helping the team win.”
The 22-year-old Chiasson scored six goals in his first six NHL games before being injured in his seventh NHL game on April 15. This was his first game in a little more than two weeks.
“I thought he did great,” said Texas coach Willie Desjardins. “He hadn’t played in a while and I thought that was a real tough game for him to come back and play. I thought he played really, really well. That is a sign of maturity. You have to be ready. You just can’t get into a game and hope it goes good. They are too good of a team. You have to prepare and he prepared himself.”
Kevin Connauton also scored for Texas, tallying on a shot from the left point with the Stars on the power play with 6:30 remaining to give the Stars a 2-0 lead.
Texas goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp stopped all 21 shots for his first AHL playoff shutout.
“It was a good game out there, a lot of chances for both sides,” said Nilstorp. “I think we deserved to win today. We battled hard. It was a good win, but we’ve got to look forward to the next game.”
Game 4 is Friday night at Cedar Park Center.
Strong showing for Glennie
With Reilly Smith returning from the NHL for Game 3 of the series, Texas coach Willie Desjardins put Smith at left wing on a line with Scott Glennie at center and Brett Ritchie on right wing. Desjardins liked what he saw of the trio, especially Glennie who had a couple of big hits in the contest.
“I thought they were really good. I thought Glennie had a real strong game,” Desjardins said. “I think the line shows it can play, but I thought Glennie was really good tonight.”