By Jim Byers, on 03/12/2012

Recap of Week 23, March 7-10 (3 games, 1-0-2-0)
Season record: 36-17-4-4, 1st, West Division, +10 pts.; 1st, Western Conference, +5 pts.

•      THE WEEK PAST: The Barons earned standing points in all 3 games, winning one and losing two in overtime. The season’s longest stretch of consecutive road games (6) ended with a 4-3 OT loss at Peoria on Wednesday, a game where the Barons owned a 3-0 lead late in the second period. It was the only time this season the Barons’ have failed to win after opening a 3-goal lead. OKC went 1-3-1-1 on the trip and played through a season-high equaling 4-game winless streak before snapping it on Friday against Lake Erie. The Barons began a back-to-back set with the Monsters on Friday by tying the score 1-1 half-way through the third before winning in a shootout 2-1.  On Saturday, the Monsters turned the tables with a tying goal 1:35 from the end, eventually winning in OT 3-2.

•      WHERE THEY STAND: The Barons maintain the top spot in the Western Conference with 80 points, the third-highest standing point total in the league. The Norfolk Admirals, winners of 15 straight, lead the league with 87 points. St. John’s is second with 81. Toronto has the second-most points in the Western Conference with 75. OKC has the third-best point percentage at .656, trailing Norfolk (.690) and St. John’s (.686).

OKC’s busiest month of the year (15 games) continues with a 4-game week. The Barons host Rockford, winners of 4 straight and 7-0-0-1 in the last 8, on Tuesday at 7 pm at the Cox Center. OKC has 2 wins and an overtime loss against Rockford this season. The Barons visit Cedar Park Center on Friday (7:30 pm) and Saturday (7:00) for consecutive meetings with the Texas Stars. The Barons are 4-2-0-0 against the Stars and have split a pair of games at Cedar Park. On Sunday, the Barons visit Houston for a 5:05 game. The Barons are 6-0-0-0 against the Aeros, 3-0-0-0 at Toyota Center.

Five of the last 7 Barons games have gone beyond regulation time tied. OKC has 2 shootout wins, 2 overtime losses and a shootout loss in that span. The Barons are 5-4 in shootouts after a tiebreaker win on Friday against Lake Erie. It was one of only 2 OKC shootouts to end in the customary fifth round. Three of the Barons’ shootouts have needed only 4 rounds for a winner to be decided. Four others have gone longer, with a pair lasting 6 rounds in addition to 7- and 9-rounders. Saturday’s OT defeat dropped the Barons to 2-4 in games ending in sudden death. After winning the first 2, OKC has dropped 4 straight overtime decisions. In each of the Barons’ overtime losses, they held a lead in the third period.

•      FRONT-RUNNING: The Barons remain the only AHL team without a regulation loss when leading at an intermission. OKC is 17-0-2-1 when leading after one period and 25-0-4-0 when in front after two.

•      STREAKING: Magnus Paajarvi is riding a 5-game point streak, during which he has 3 goals and 4 assists. Paajarvi also has assists in 4 straight, which matches the Barons’ longest assist streak this season. Josh Green has goals in 3 straight, equaling a team high this season. On 4 other occasions a Barons has scored in 3 straight. The franchise record goal streak is 4 games, set by Liam Reddox and matched by Colin McDonald last season during the Barons’ inaugural AHL campaign.

This week’s games (times listed as Central)
Date               Opponent     Time               Arena                                     Radio
March 13       Rockford        7 pm               Cox Convention Center     KXY 96.1 FM
March 16       @ Texas        7:30 pm          Cedar Park Center               KXY 96.1 FM
March 17       @ Texas        7 pm               Cedar Park Center               KXY 96.1FM
March 18       @ Houston    5:05 pm          Toyota Center                       KXY 96.1 FM

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