The Houston Aeros (10-7-1-2, 23 pts.) visit the Texas Stars (10-7-0-0, 20 pts.) for the second meeting in four days between the clubs. Houston took a 4-2 victory on Sunday at Toyota Center to win for the fourth time in the last five games. The victory pulled the Aeros closer to the West Division lead. The fourth place Aeros are six points off the lead held by San Antonio, who they play host to on Friday. They sit just three points behind second place Oklahoma City and two behind third place Peoria. Points in 10 of the last 12 games (8-2-0-2) have helped the Aeros climb from the cellar of the Division. The Stars have won five of their last 10 outings and hold the No. 6 spot in the West, two points behind Milwaukee (who visits Toyota Center Saturday). All-in-all, the West Division race is already in full swing, with one good or bad stretch of games the difference between battling for a top spot or trying to climb out of the basement.
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Nov. 24 at Texas 7:30 p.m. CST
Nov. 26 vs. San Antonio 7:35 p.m. CST
Nov. 27 vs. Milwaukee 7:35 p.m. CST
Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
Texas Stars (Dallas Stars)
AEROS AT A GLANCE
RECORD: 10-7-1-2, 23 pts.
STREAK: WON 1
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
POTENT PENALTY KILL --- Houston's penalty kill finished the second 10-game segment of the season 41-for-45 (91.1%) after going 47-for-54 (87.04%) in the first 10.
HEATIN’ UP --- Jon DiSalvatore has four points (2-2-4) in his last three games…Jarod Palmer has five points (2-3-5) including a GWG in his last five games…Petr Kalus has goals in three of his last five…Carson McMillan has four points (1-3-4) in his last five games…Jared Spurgeon has five points (1-4-5) in his last five.
POWER-FULL --- The Houston power play, which was just 3-for-51(5.88%) in the first 10-game segment of the season, finished the second 10-game stretch 13-for-56 (22.2).
NUMBER NUGGETS --- The Aeros have outscored their opponents 20-9 in the opening 20 minutes this season but have been outscored a combined 39-31 in the final two periods…Houston has a .846 winning percentage when scoring first…The Aeros score an average of 2.65 goals per game while allowing 2.55 (5th as of Nov. 23)…Defenseman Max Noreau is among leading defensemen with 51 shots on goal.
SCORE EARLY! --- The Aeros are 7-0-0-2 when leading after 20 minutes and 1-4-0-0 when trailing after the opening period.
SCORE FIRST! --- Houston is 10-1-0-2 when scoring first this season and 0-6-1-0 when allowing the first goal.
FIRST-GOAL STREAK ---The Aeros have scored the first goal in 11 of the last 13 games and have won eight of those contests. The Aeros scored the first goal in seven straight games (Oct. 29-Nov. 8) and were 4-1-0-2 in that span.
SHOOTIN' --- The Aeros are 8-2-0-2 when being outshot and 2-4-1-0 when outshooting their opponents. The Nov. 14 win at PEO was the first time this season the Aeros out shot an opponent and won.
TURNSTILE TIDBIT --- The crowd of 8,587 at the Nov. 21 game was the largest so far this season. The previous high was 8,477 on Nov. 5. The Aeros have averaged 5,766 through eight home games.
SCHEDULE NOTES --- Sunday’s game ended a run of four games in five days (3-1-0-0)…The team plays seven games in 11 days from Nov.17-27… The Aeros just completed their longest stretch between home games of the season, a total of 12 days (Nov. 5 vs. TOR-Nov. 17 vs. CHI)....A total of 18 of Houston’s final 27 games in the calendar year of 2010 are away from Toyota Center; The longest home-stand remaining in 2010 is four games from Nov. 26-Dec. 3.
MOVIN' ON UP --- The Aeros have already had nine callups up to Minnesota (Gillies, Wellman, Kassian-2x, Almond-2x, Scandella, Earl, Falk).
RECENT ROSTER MOVES --- D Justin Falk and F Matt Kassian were recalled by Minnesota on Nov. 24…D Marco Scandella was reassigned by Minnesota on Nov. 21...G Michael Ouzas was released from his PTO on Nov. 21...G Michael Ouzas was signed to a PTO on Nov. 19…D Justin Falk was reassigned to Houston from Minnesota on Nov. 18…D Bryce Lampman was signed to a PTO on Nov. 16…LW Robbie Earl was recalled by Minnesota on Nov. 13…
LAST GAME QUICK RECAP
Jarod Palmer scored the deciding goal with 1:39 left in regulation and added an assist, Anton Khudobin made 31 saves and Warren Peters collected a goal and a helper as the Houston Aeros upended the Texas Stars 4-2 Sunday at Toyota Center in front of 8,587 fans. Khudobin, who is 5-1-1 in his last seven outings, made 13 saves in the third period.