BARONS GAME NOTES - MAY 29
By Jim Byers,
(3) Grand Rapids Griffins at (5) Oklahoma City Barons, Game 3
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1011085-42.pdf&client_code=ahl
OVERVIEW: Having split the first 2 games of this best-of-7, Western Conference Finals in Grand Rapids on Friday and Saturday, the Barons return home for the first of 3 straight games at the Cox Center against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings). The series continues Friday and Saturday at 7 pm CDT, with Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) in Grand Rapids June 4-5. OKC and Grand Rapids split 4 regular-season meetings, with the home team winning each. All-time, the Barons are 9-5-0-4 against the Griffins (including playoffs), with a 5-2-0-1 mark at the Cox Center.
FAMILIAR GROUND: This is the fifth straight Barons playoff series dating to last year that is 1-1 after 2 games. In the previous 4 series, OKC was 2-2 in Game 3, but went on to win 3 of the 4 series. The Barons have won 3 straight home playoff games, taking all 3 Western Conference Semifinal contests at the Cox Center in the previous series to eliminate the Texas Stars. OKC is 4-1 at home during this post-season. Tonight is the Barons’ first home playoff date since the fifth and final game of the previous series on May 16.
EVEN-KEELED: The Barons have gone 49 games (regular season and playoffs) without losing back-to-back games (in the AHL, only regulation or overtime losses count toward losing streaks). The last time OKC lost consecutive games in regulation or overtime were the last 2 of a club-record 5-game losing streak Jan. 13 and 18. Starting Jan. 19 (the first day of the 2012-13 NHL regular season) through the end of the AHL regular season, the Barons went 22-9-0-6, a .676 point percentage second only to Providence’s .800.
PLAYOFF PATTER: The Barons out-shot the Griffins 37-22 in Game 2 on Saturday, marking the first time this post-season Grand Rapids was out-shot (the shot totals were even in Game 1 of this series, 28-28). The Barons have had more shots than the Griffins in 5 straight periods after Grand Rapids had out-shot its opposition in 29 of the first 34 Calder Cup periods to begin the post-season and 13 straight until the Barons’ current streak began. The Barons have won 7 of their last 9 games, with both losses by 2-1 scores. OKC is No. 1 in the post-season with 47 goals, while Grand Rapids is second with 42.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS: Mark Arcobello leads the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 10, all at even strength, and in points with 17. Arcobello brings a 9-game point streak into tonight, during which he has 7 goals and 5 assists. It’s the AHL’s longest point streak this post-season. Arcobello had a 5-game goal streak, the longest in Calder Cup play since 2011, snapped on Friday, but he has goals in 6 of the last 7 games. Toni Rajala has a point in 10 of 12 Calder Cup games, including a 6-game point streak to start the playoffs. Jonathan Cheechoo has 1 assist in 4 straight contests. C.J. Stretch has a goal in 4 of the last 5.
LEADERBOARD: The Barons feature 3 of the AHL’s top 6 playoff point scorers: Mark Arcobello (the leader with 17 points), plus Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala, who are part of a tie for 4th with 14. Barons occupy the top 6 spots, and 7 of the top 8, in the playoff plus-minus rankings. Randy Jones is the AHL’s playoff plus-minus leader at +14. Jonathan Cheechoo is 2nd at +12. Hartikainen and Taylor Fedun are tied for 3rd at +11, followed by Arcobello and Rajala tied for 5th at +10. Philippe Cornet is tied for 7th at +9.
AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 25-for-27 (92.6%) on the penalty kill in its 8 Calder Cup wins this spring and 15-for-21 (71.4) on the PK in its 4 losses. For the playoffs, the Barons are 9-for-49 on the power play (18.4%, 8th), while the penalty kill has allowed 8 power play goals in 48 times short (83.3%, T-7th).
THE BACKSTOP: Yann Danis has started 26 straight playoff games over the past 2 springs. With OKC, Danis is 16-10 in the playoffs with a 2.26 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Since a 6-1 loss on May 1 at Charlotte, Danis is 7-2 with a 1.56 goals-against average and .952 save percentage, stopping 279 of 293 shots in those 9 games.
Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
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