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abbott_spencer140529

Abbott scores three as Marlies tie series

Spencer Abbott scored his first three goals of the playoffs in succession on three Toronto power plays and the Marlies pulled even in the Western Conference Finals with a 4-1 win over Texas in Game 4 at Ricoh Coliseum on Thursday night.

The best-of-seven series is squared at two games apiece with Game 5 set for Saturday afternoon in Toronto.

Abbott’s first two goals came within the first 5:14 of the game to give Toronto an early lead. He whipped a wrister from the center point past a screened Cristopher Nilstorp to open the scoring at 1:36, and then cleaned up the rebound of a T.J. Brennan shot to put Toronto ahead 2-0 at 5:14.

The Marlies have scored the game’s first goal in all 11 of their playoff outings.

Abbott, a 2013-14 Second Team AHL All-Star, then found an opening in the slot and completed the hat trick during a 5-on-3 advantage at 7:05 of the second period, giving the Marlies a 3-0 lead.

That score held up until late in the third period. Moments after Toronto killed off a 6-on-4 Texas power play late in the third, Jerry D’Amigo hit the empty net from just outside his own blue line for his sixth goal of the postseason with 3:29 left.

Texas spoiled the shutout bid with 1:42 remaining as Matej Stransky intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and fed Radek Faksa, who snapped a shot from between the hash marks past the blocker of MacIntyre to make it 4-1 in favor of Toronto.

MacIntyre (9-2) stopped 27 of 28 shots in halting a two-game losing streak. Nilstorp (7-3) turned aside 24 of 27 shots for the Stars.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Texas Stars vs. 3-Toronto Marlies
| Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Fri., May 23 – Toronto 5, TEXAS 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 26 – TEXAS 6, Toronto 3
Game 3 – Wed., May 28 – Texas 3, TORONTO 2
Game 4 – Thu., May 29 – TORONTO 4, Texas 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 31 – Texas at Toronto, 3:00
Game 6 – Mon., June 2 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., June 3 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
   *if necessary… All times Eastern