Stars inconsistent on trip through California

Texas took four of a possible eight points from first four games of road trip


The Stars’ trip through California was more like a rollercoaster. 

In the first four games of the six-game road trip, Texas has an overtime loss, a lopsided win, a shutout loss and a shootout loss. They’ve taken four of a possible eight points on the road trip thus far. 

Texas announced Thursday they had acquired defenseman Michael Paliotta from the Toronto Marlies in exchange for future considerations. he joined the team after the first game of the trip and played in the final three games, recording two shots on goal and two penalty minutes. 

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Paliotta said. “I’ve played in this league a couple years now and have been successful, so I’m just going to go out and enjoy it. I just kind of picked their brains about how things go here and what the team’s like.”

The former third-round pick has played in 128 AHL games with the Marlies, Lake Erie Monsters and Hartford Wolfpack and has nine goals and 28 assists in that span. He’s played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Paliotta will help fill the void left by Dillon Heatherington, who was recalled to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. 

Texas opened the trip in Bakersfield against the Condors. For the fourth time in six meetings this season, the two teams went to overtime. But the Condors won in overtime for the first time, beating the Stars 2-1 last Wednesday. 

Denis Gurianov scored his fifth goal of the season for the Stars, and Mike McKenna stopped 36 of 38 shots in net in the loss.

Friday night in Stockton went much smoother. Brent Regner scored two goals and Texas trounced the Heat 7-2. Jason Dickinson finished with a goal and two assists. It was the most goals the Stars have scored in a game this season. 

The Heat came back with a vengeance on Saturday behind goalie Jon Gillies, who is now 5-0-0 in five games against Texas following a 2-0 shutout loss. McKenna made 22 of 24 saves playing in his second game of the road trip.

Justin Dowling scored with just over a minute to play in Monday’s matinee game against the Ontario Reign, but the home team scored the only goal in the shootout to earn a 3-2 win. Travis Morin scored midway through the third period for Texas, picking up a loose puck and beating Reign goalie Jack Campbell, who spent nearly four full seasons with the team in Cedar Park. 

The Stars wrap up their road trip with Friday and Saturday night games against league-leading Manitoba Moose. They return home on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and take on the San Jose Barracuda.