Stars strike down Marlies in Game 3

Travis Morin‘s goal with 8:46 left in regulation lifted the Texas Stars to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Marlies in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The Stars take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 on Thursday.

Toronto scored the game’s first goal for the 10th time in as many outings this postseason when Kenny Ryan won an offensive-zone faceoff back to T.J. Brennan, whose drive from the point beat Cristopher Nilstorp for his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Texas pulled even at 3:16 of the second period as Radek Faksa deflected Patrik Nemeth‘s wrister past Drew MacIntyre to make it 1-1.

The Stars pulled ahead with 13:01 left in regulation as Brett Ritchie‘s shot from the slot went wide but Kevin Henderson was there to bank it off MacIntyre’s back and just over the goal line for a 2-1 lead.

Brennan tied things back up with his second goal of the game, taking a pass from Peter Holland and one-timing a shot from the left-wing circle past Nilstorp with 9:45 to play in the third.

Just 59 seconds later, Texas grabbed the lead for good as MacIntyre got a big piece of Brendan Ranford‘s snap shot but the puck trickled behind the goaltender and Morin was there to chip it home for his second goal of the series and fourth of the postseason.

After firing 50-plus shots in each of the first two games of the series, Texas owned a 30-22 advantage on the shot clock in Game 3. Nilstorp (7-2) made 20 saves on the night, while MacIntyre (8-2) turned aside 27 of 30 Texas shots.

NOTES: Toronto has been outshot in nine of its 10 playoff games… The Marlies are now outscoring their opponents 14-3 in the first period this postseason… The Stars have an 18-5 scoring edge in the third period and overtime… Holland’s assist gives him points in all seven of his playoff games played (6-3-9)… Chris Mueller had an assist to run his scoring streak to five games (4-2-6).

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 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00
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