13 February 2010

Wolves Move Into First Place in West with 5-2 Win Over Texas

Left wing Brett Sterling notched two goals and two assists while center Jason Krog added three points (G, 2A) to lead the way for Chicago (32-17-0-4). Netminder Peter Mannino (17-3-0) thwarted 26 of 28 shots to pick up his career-high ninth straight victory for the Wolves, who have moved into sole possession of first place in the West Division.

With time running out in the first period, the Wolves intercepted a pass from a Texas defender and Sterling streaked to the goal and roofed a shot over Stars goaltender Todd Ford’s shoulder for the one-goal lead going into the first intermission.

Texas (29-18-3-4) tied it up at 6:56 of the second period. Right wing Matthieu Beaudoin sent a backhanded pass to center Perttu Lindgren who skated towards the net and then pulled and dragged the puck to his forehand and passed it across the crease to left wing Scott McCulloch, who finished off the play to even the score.

Ring wing Anthony Stewart regained the lead for the Wolves when he knocked in a shot midair at 10:25 of the middle frame. Krog dished off the puck to left wing Andrew Kozek in the slot, who wristed a shot that flew into the air before Stewart knocked it down behind Ford for the goal.

Sterling netted his second goal of the game to give the Wolves a 3-1 lead. Kozek passed the puck along the blueline to defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy. Vishnevskiy rocketed the puck wide but Sterling was there to pick up the rebound and put the puck behind the back of Ford.

Ford (4-4-1) posted 29 saves in the losing effort.

Maxime Fortunus brought the Stars to within one at 16:21 of the second period. Standing on the point, Fortunus waited with the puck to find an open slot and than slammed a slap-shot home underneath the pads of Mannino.

Right wing Spencer Machacek put the Wolves back up by two at 7:38 of the third period. Krog picked up a rebound from Sterling and took a shot from the doorstep, but Ford was able to make the save. The rebound ricocheted the other way, though, and Machacek was there to put the puck away.

Krog gave the Wolves a three-goal cushion with 6:28 remaining in the game. Sterling streaked along the boards towards the goal and made a bid for the hat trick but was stymied by Ford before Krog picked up the rebound and backhanded it into the net for the 5-2 lead.

The Wolves conclude their three-games-in-three-days road trip when they take on the Houston Aeros at the Toyota Center tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Chicago 1 2 2 -- 5
Texas 0 2 0 -- 2

First Period---1, Chicago, Sterling 28 (unassisted), 19:09. Penalties---Tousignant, Texas (slashing), 12:49.

Second Period---2, Texas, McCulloch 4 (Lindgren, Beaudoin), 6:56; 3, Chicago, Stewart 11 (Kozek, Krog), 10:25; 4, Chicago, Sterling 29 (Vishnevskiy, Kozek), 14:41; 5, Texas, Fortunus 10 (Hutchinson, Gagnon), 16:21. Penalties---Vishnevskiy, Chicago (hooking), 11:28; Beaudoin, Texas (boarding), 12:39; Ludwig, Texas (double-minor high sticking), 18:38.

Third Period---5, Chicago, Machacek 12 (Krog, Sterling), 7:38; 6, Chicago, Krog 11 (Sterling, Stewart), 13:31. Penalties---Doell, Chicago (hooking), 4:03.

Shots on goal---Chicago: 8-12-14--34. Texas: 11-8-9--28. Power plays---Chicago: 0-2. Texas: 0-2. Goalies--Chicago, Mannino (26-28). Texas, Ford (29-34). A---6,030. Referee---David Banfield. Linesmen---Chris Petrin and Frank Prestigiovanni.