While the Dallas Stars’ 2013 season ultimately ended in disappointment, the future continues to look bright for the franchise as their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, powered into the second round of the playoffs behind the goaltending of Cristopher Nilstorp. Texas took their first round series against the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) three games to one, with Nilstorp only allowing four total goals and recording one shutout.
Nilstorp played in five games for Dallas this season, posting a 1-3-1 record with a 3.09 goals-against average. This was his first season in North America, and he showed he is definitely capable of being a backup at the NHL level. Nilstorp won 19 regulars season games for Texas with an impressive 2.38 goals against average. He helped the team enter the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference, and now that they have dispatched of the Admirals the Stars will face the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers). Nilstorp only signed a one-year deal, and with Richard Bachman backing up Kari Lehtonen in Dallas and Jack Campbell fighting for the starter’s job in Texas, his time in Texas could be limited. For now, he is playing some of his best hockey of the season, and has Texas in prime position to make a run at the Calder Cup.
Kevin Connauton, Alex Chiasson and Matt Fraser each had two goals in the series against the Admirals, and Chiasson and Fraser are two of the young players who impressed in their time in Dallas this season. Their offense was key to helping the Stars move to the second round, but the story of the playoffs so far is Nilstorp, who finished the series with a 0.96 goals-against average.