The Texas Stars have their backs to the wall in the AHL’s Western Conference Semifinals, falling behind 3-1 in the series after a 7-3 loss to Oklahoma City at Cox Convention Center Wednesday night.
Game 5 of the series is Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
The Stars had a 3-2 lead after two periods, but the Barons scored five unanswered goals in the third period, three of them in the final two minutes.
Oklahoma City tied the game 6:52 into the third when Ben Eager put a shot on net from beyond the left circle, Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp gave up a big rebound and Antti Tyrvainen put the puck into the net to make it a 3-3 game.
The game remained tied until just under six minutes were left, and then things just fell apart for the Stars. Tyler Pitlick put a shot on net from the left circle, the puck rebounded out to the right circle and Taylor Fedun scored on a blast to put the Barons up, 4-3, with 5:36 remaining.
The Stars went on a power play with 4:24 remaining, couldn’t cash in and Marc Arcobello finished off a two-on-one with 2:00 remaining to make it a 5-3 game.
Tyrvainen scored into an empty net 36 seconds later to make it 6-3 and then Garrett Stafford scored on the power play for Oklahoma City with 15 seconds remaining to round out the scoring.
Oklahoma City outshot the Texas 18-5 over the final 20 minutes, and had 45-29 advantage in shots for the game.
The Barons scored 1:27 into the second to take a 1-0 lead. Shortly after Oklahoma City goaltender Yann Danis made a great stop on Texas forward Mike Hedden’s point blank chance, the Barons went the other way and C.J. Stretch tipped in a point shot by Brandon Davidson.
The Stars tied the game at 6:49 when Reilly Smith sent a pass from the right wing across the crease to Brett Ritchie, who put the puck into the open side of the net from close range.
The Stars took the lead at 13:13 of the second by cashing in on their first power play of the game, which was a four-on-three. Colton Sceviour banged home the rebound of a Jordie Benn shot to give the Stars a 2-1 lead.
But just 1:20 later the Barons drew even when Arcobello came out of the penalty box, was set up on a breakaway and beat Nilstorp with a wrist shot to make it a 2-2 game.
The Stars took the lead again at the 18:15 mark, cashing in on a delayed penalty chance. With Nilstorp out of the net for an extra attacker, Travis Morin sent a pass from the right circle to Joe Morrow, who scored from the left circle to put the Stars up 3-2 heading into the third period, which turned out to be all Oklahoma City.
*After allowing eight goals in their first six playoff games, the Stars have allowed eleven over the last two.
*Colton Sceviour and Scott Glennie were the only plus players for Texas in the game. Both were a plus-one.
*Texas was 1-3 on the power play in the game and 4-5 on the penalty kill.