Jack Campbell, a first-round draft pick in 2010 who only recently returned from injury, made 23 saves to become the second goalie to shut out the Checkers this season. After averaging 4.50 goals per game during a win streak that tied two before it for the team’s longest of the season, Charlotte put forth its lowest shot total since firing 18 at Milwaukee on Dec. 1.
A three-in-three weekend that began with a 5-4 shootout loss in San Antonio on Friday continues with a rematch against that same Rampage team on Sunday. As was the case in tonight’s game, the Checkers will travel before facing a team that had the previous night off.
Despite the loss, Charlotte remains 10th in the Western Conference, though a victory by eighth-place Milwaukee increased the gap they need to make up in the playoff race to seven points with 18 games remaining.
Texas, which extended its point streak to seven games (6-0-1), scored one goal in each period while keeping Charlotte’s chances to an absolute minimum. A first-period goal by Dustin Jeffrey and a third-period goal by Patrik Nemeth both resulted from Charlotte turning the puck over in the defensive zone, with the conference’s best offensive team taking quick advantage on a cross-crease pass and a tic-tac-toe passing play that culminated in a wide-open shot from the point, respectively.
The home team’s second goal came off the stick of AHL goals leader Colton Sceviour, who padded the stats of the AHL’s best power play when he had time to corral the rebound of Mike Murphy’s save on Curtis McKenzie before depositing his 32nd goal of the season.
Murphy, who was playing his first game since last facing the Stars on Feb. 20, made 32 saves as part of an encouraging performance that prevented the final score from looking more lopsided. Tonight’s save total was his highest since making 41 at Oklahoma City on Jan. 10.