By Jim Byers, on 05/25/2013

(5) Oklahoma City Barons at (3) Grand Rapids Griffins, Game 2

Calder Cup Playoffs | Series “N” Western Conference Finals | Grand Rapids leads 1-0
May 25, 2013, 6 pm CDT | Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

OVERVIEW: Edged 2-1 in the opener of the Western Conference Finals last night, the Barons seek a split of the first 2 games in Grand Rapids in tonight’s rematch against the Griffins (Detroit Red Wings). Regular season and playoffs combined, OKC has gone 5 straight games without a win at Van Andel Arena (3 losses and 2 shootout defeats) since the last Barons win Nov. 27, 2011. This best-of-7 switches to OKC starting Wednesday for Games 3, 4 and 5, the latter if necessary. OKC and Grand Rapids split 4 regular-season meetings, with the home team winning each.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have not lost back-to-back games since the end of a franchise-record 5-game losing streak on Jan. 18 (in the AHL, only regulation and overtime losses count toward losing streaks). OKC is in the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive season and has qualified for the Calder Cup playoffs all 3 years of the franchise’s existence. The Barons have won 6 of their last 8 games and in that time both losses were by 2-1 scores. OKC has produced just 1 goal in each of its 3 regulation-time playoff defeats this spring (OKC’s other loss was a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1 of the first round vs. Charlotte). The Barons have 37 goals in their 7 post-season wins and an AHL-best 43 goals overall in 11 games. Last night’s loss dropped the Barons to 2-5 all-time in Calder Cup playoff openers. The Barons have finished with the same number of shots on goal as the opponent in each of the last 2 games. On May 16, the Barons and Texas Stars each had 34 shots. Last night the shots were even at 28. Grand Rapids has not been out-shot during this post-season in 12 games, going 7-4 when out-shooting the opponent and 1-0 when the shots are even.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS: Mark Arcobello leads the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 9, all at even strength, and is tops in points with 16. Arcobello’s 5-game goal streak, the best in the AHL since April of 2011, was snapped last night. Arcobello brings an 8-game point streak into tonight, during which he has 6 goals and 5 assists. Arcobello’s point streak matches Providence’s Carter Camper for the AHL high this post-season. C.J. Stretch’s 3-game goal streak was snapped last night. Toni Rajala has a point in 9 of 11 Calder Cup games, including a 6-game point streak to start the playoffs.

LEADERBOARD: The Barons feature 3 of the AHL’s top 10 playoff point scorers: Mark Arcobello (the leader with 16 points), Toni Rajala (T-5th, 13 points) and Teemu Hartikainen (T-8th, 11). Barons occupy 7 of the top 9 positions in the playoff plus-minus rankings. Randy Jones is the AHL’s playoff plus-minus leader at +14. Jonathan Cheechoo is 2nd at +12. Arcobello and Taylor Fedun are tied for 3rd at +10, followed by Philippe Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen and Rajala, all part of a tie for 5th at +9.

AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 24-for-26 on the penalty kill in its 7 Calder Cup wins this spring and 15-for-21 on the PK in its 4 losses. For the playoffs, the Barons are 8-for-46 on the power play (17.4%, 9th), while the penalty kill has allowed 8 power play goals in 47 times short. Grand Rapids has also allowed 8 power play goals in 47 times short, as the teams are tied for 8th in the playoffs at 83.0 %

THE BACKSTOP: Yann Danis has started 25 straight playoff games over the past 2 springs. With OKC, Danis is 15-10 in the playoffs with a 2.28 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. Since a 6-1 loss on May 1 at Charlotte, Danis is 6-2 with a 1.51 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, stopping 259 of 271 shots in those 8 games.

FIVE-GOAL THIRD: The Barons scored 5 goals in the third period of a 7-3 win over Texas in Game 4 of the previous round on May 15. OKC’s 5 goals in the third period were the most by a team in a single period of Calder Cup play since the Hershey Bears potted 6 second-period goals April 17, 2010 at Bridgeport. It was the first 5-goal third period in the AHL playoffs since April 22, 2009, in the Worcester Sharks’ 6-0 win over Hartford.

Recent Results:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
May 9 @ Tex W, 2-1 OT Danis (1, 34) Nilstorp (2, 24) 2,840
May 11 @ Tex L, 1-2 Danis (2, 37) Nilstorp (1, 27) 4,683
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

Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Tonight @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 29 GR Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
May 31 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

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