By Jim Byers, on 05/31/2013

(3) Grand Rapids Griffins at (5) Oklahoma City Barons, Game 4    

Calder Cup Playoffs  |  Series “N” Western Conference Finals  |  OKC leads, 2-1
May 31, 2013, 7 pm CDT  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

OVERVIEW: Having won 2 straight games and leading 2-1 in this best-of-7, Western Conference Final series, the Barons play the second of 3 straight home games against the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings). OKC has taken Games 2 and 3 of this series by 4-2 and 4-1 scores, the latter on Wednesday in Game 3. OKC and Grand Rapids split 4 regular-season meetings, with the home team winning each. All-time, the Barons are 10-5-0-4 against the Griffins (including playoffs), with a 6-2-0-1 mark at the Cox Center. Game 5 is Saturday at 7 pm CDT at OKC.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: OKC is 5-1 at home during this post-season, with 5 straight home wins dating to Game 2 of the first round against Charlotte. The Barons share the AHL’s best Calder Cup home record with the Syracuse Crunch, who are also 5-1. OKC has out-scored its opposition 28-11 at the Cox Center in the playoffs, the largest goal differential so far in the post-season among home or road teams. Overall, the Barons lead the AHL with 51 goals scored and their +24 goal differential is No. 1 in the playoffs.

EVEN-KEELED: The Barons have gone 50 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 have out-shot the Griffins in 2 straight games, 33-21 on Wednesday and 37-22 on Saturday, while the shots were 28-28 in Friday’s series opener. Grand Rapids entered this series having out-shot its opponents in all 11 previous games. The Barons have had more shots than the Griffins in 8 straight periods after Grand Rapids had out-shot its opposition in 29 of its first 34 Calder Cup periods to begin the post-season and 13 straight until the Barons’ current streak began. The Barons have won 8 of their last 10 games, with both losses by 2-1 scores. OKC is 12-0-0-0 (regular season and playoffs) when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 20-3-0-0 when he registers a point.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS: Mark Arcobello leads the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 10, all at even strength, and is tied for the top spot in points with 17. Arcobello’s 9-game point streak, tops in the AHL this post-season, was snapped on Wednesday. He had 7 goals and 5 assists during the streak, which was the longest in Calder Cup play since Hershey’s Keith Aucoin recorded a point in 12 straight from April 14-May 17, 2010. 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 8 games. Jonathan Cheechoo brings 5-game point and assist streaks into tonight. C.J. Stretch has a goal in 4 of the last 6.

LEADERBOARD: The Barons feature 3 of the AHL’s top 6 playoff point scorers: Mark Arcobello (the co-leader with 17 points), plus Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala, who are part of a tie for 4th with 14. Barons occupy 7 of the top 8 spots in the playoff plus-minus rankings. Randy Jones is the AHL’s playoff plus-minus leader at +16. Jonathan Cheechoo is 2nd at +14. Hartikainen, Taylor Fedun and Arcobello are among a tie for 3rd at +11, followed by Rajala and Philippe Cornet tied for 5th at +10.

AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 29-for-31 (93.5%) on the penalty kill in its 9 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-54 on the power play (16.7%), while the penalty kill has allowed 8 power play goals in 52 times short (84.6%). In this series, OKC is 1-for-11 on the power play and 9-for-9 on the penalty kill.

THE BACKSTOP: Yann Danis has started 27 straight playoff games over the past 2 springs. With OKC, Danis is 17-10 in the playoffs with a 2.22 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Since a 6-1 loss on May 1 at Charlotte, Danis is 8-2 with a 1.51 goals-against average and .952 save percentage.

Recent Results:
Date        Opp.   Result      OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie               Attn. 
May 13    Tex      W, 4-0       Danis (0, 30)                 Nilstorp (3, EN, 27)       1,794
May 15    Tex      W, 7-3       Danis (3, 26)                 Nilstorp (6, EN, 39)       1,795
May 16    Tex      W, 5-1       Danis (1, 33)                 Nilstorp (5, 29)              2,094
May 24    @ GR   L, 1-2        Danis (2, 26)                 Mrazek (1, 27)              5,016
May 25    @ GR   W, 4-2       Danis (2, 20)                 Mrazek (3, EN, 33)       5,435
May 29    GR       W, 4-1       Danis (1, 20)                 Mrazek (3, EN, 29)       2,320

Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
Date         Opp.            Site                            Time     Broadcast
Tonight    GR              Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
June 1     GR              Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
June 4*    @ GR         Van Andel Arena            6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
June 5*    @ GR         Van Andel Arena            6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
*if necessary

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