By Jim Byers, on 02/26/2013

Texas Stars (33-13-4-4) at Oklahoma City Barons (24-20-2-5)   

Barons Game 52  |  Home Game 28 |  AHL Game 800
Feb. 26, 2013, 7 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:
TONIGHT: The Barons host the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars) for the third time in a 12-day span. The Stars topped the Barons in back-to-back games at the Cedar Park Center Feb. 15-16, 4-3 in a shootout and 4-0. This is the 10th of 12 meetings between the South Division rivals. OKC is 5-3-0-1 against the Stars, but Texas has 2 wins and a shootout victory in the last 3 matchups. The Barons bring a season-best 4-game home winning streak into tonight. OKC has 55 points, 12th in the Western Conference. Texas leads the AHL with 74 points and has won 5 straight.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have at least 1 standing point in 8 of the last 12 games, going 6-4-0-2 in that time. Tonight’s game wraps up the Barons’ schedule for February. OKC is 4-2-0-1 this month, which has included only 8 games, all in Oklahoma or Texas. The Barons have already surpassed their January win total, when they went 3-8-1-1. OKC is No. 1 in the AHL on the power play at 22.9 percent. The power play is 12-for-74 (16.2%) since Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall returned to the NHL.

RED RIVER ROUNDUP: OKC is 5-3-0-1 against Texas this season, with all 3 of the Stars’ regulation wins being shutouts. Jack Campbell has blanked the Barons twice, most recently in the last meeting Feb. 16 at Cedar Park with 20 saves. All-time, OKC is 17-9-0-3 against Texas, 9-4-0-2 at the Cox Center. Since starting the season 3-6-0-1, Texas is 30-7-4-3, with 4 of those 7 regulation losses against OKC. Texas has an AHL-high 74 standing points. Their season record of 33-13-4-4 is a league-best .685 standing point percentage. Texas’ point percentage against OKC is .444 (4-5-0-0), while against all other opponents it’s .733 (29-8-4-4 against the rest of the AHL).

FAST START: Despite playing only 11 games since being signed to a PTO in January, former NHL All-Star Jonathan Cheechoo is tied for 10th on the team in scoring among all players who have appeared for the Barons this season. Cheechoo has 15 points, on 6 goals and 9 assists, with 13 of those points collected in his 5 home games. Cheechoo is tied for sixth among all Barons this season in home scoring with those 13 points. Dating to his first game as a Baron Jan. 23, Cheechoo is one of 6 players tied for the second-most points in the American Hockey League with 15, 2 behind Providence defenseman Torey Krug.

HOME HAPPENINGS: The Barons bring a season-high 4-game home winning streak into Tonight. OKC has out-scored the opposition 22-14 in its last 4 home dates. OKC’s home record is 16-8-2-1, featuring a .648 home standing point percentage that is tied for 8th-best in the league. Only 4 AHL clubs have sub-.500 point percentages at home and each is in the Eastern Conference: Hershey (.483), Adirondack (.481), Albany (.480) and St. John’s (.385). In the overall season standings, only 6 of the AHL’s 30 teams have point percentages below .500: San Antonio (.491), Bridgeport (.490), Norfolk (.481), St. John’s (.445), Hamilton (.442) and Adirondack (.441).

GAME TIME ALERT: Sunday’s game at Charlotte has a 4 pm (CST) opening faceoff, a time change from the schedule’s original release last summer. Some printed schedules contain the original start time, but the game is slated for 4 pm Central and will be air on KXY 96.1 FM, and AHL Live.

EBERLE, SCHULTZ FINALLY DISPLACED ATOP SCORING RACE: Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz were first and second in the AHL in points from the time they left the league to return to the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 6 until this past week. Schultz was overtaken for second in points (48) on Saturday night, Feb. 23. Eberle had been the goal (25) and point (51) leader entering last week, but was surpassed in goals Feb. 18 and points Feb. 24. As of Monday, Feb. 25, Schultz remains second in power play points with 25, while Eberle is third with 23. Schultz owns a 13-point lead in the defensemen scoring race. He tops Tyler Toffoli of Manchester in the rookie scoring race 48-43. Toffoli has played 17 more AHL games this season than Schultz as of the start of this week.

Last 5 Games:
Date        Opp.     Result    OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie               Attn. 
Feb. 9      GR         W, 7-5      Danis (5, 22)                 McCollum (6, 22)          4,277
Feb. 15    @ Tex    SOL, 3-4  Hovinen (3, 38)             Campbell (3, 28)           5,428
Feb. 16    @ Tex    L, 0-4       Hovinen (4, 23)             Campbell (0, 20)           6,863
Feb. 22    Hou       W, 4-3      Danis (3, 23)                 Hackett (4, 26)             3,746
Feb. 23    @ Hou   L, 1-2       Danis (2, 21)                 Hackett (1, 36)             12,367

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.          Site                                 Time     Broadcast
March 2  Texas          Cedar Park Center           7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 3  Charlotte     Time Warner Cable           4:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 4  Charlotte     Time Warner Cable           6:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 8  Rockford     Cox Center                       7:00      KXY 96.1 FM
March 9  Rockford     Cox Center                       7:00      KXY 96.1 FM  

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