By Jim Byers, on 06/04/2013

(5) Oklahoma City Barons (3) at Grand Rapids Griffins, Game 6

Calder Cup Playoffs | Series “N” Western Conference Finals | Grand Rapids leads 3-2
June 4, 2013, 6 pm CDT | Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit:

TONIGHT: The Barons visit the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) in Game 6 of this best-of-7, Western Conference Final series. After consecutive shutout losses on Saturday and Sunday, OKC must win to force a Game 7, which would be Wednesday at Van Andel Arena. The Barons and Griffins split the first 2 games of this series in Grand Rapids and the clubs split a 4-game regular-season series, with the home team winning each. All-time including playoffs, OKC is 10-7-0-4 against the Griffins, with a 4-3-0-3 mark at Van Andel Arena.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons are 2-2 during their 3-season Calder Cup history when facing elimination, dropping season-ending games on April 24, 2011 at Hamilton and May 25, 2012 at Toronto before beating Charlotte in consecutive elimination games on the road May 3-4 during this season’s best-of-5 opening round. OKC is 4-3 on the road this post-season. Sunday’s 4-0 loss marked the first time since Jan. 13 and 18 that the Barons had lost consecutive games in regulation or overtime (In the AHL, shootout losses do not count toward losing streaks). The Barons went 51 games, regular season and playoffs, without a 2-game losing streak. Only 1 of OKC’s 9 playoff wins has been by 1 goal, a 2-1 OT win May 9 at Texas in Game 1 of the second round. The Barons are 1-3 in 1-goal games and 8-3 in contests decided by 2 or more. Tonight’s Game 6 matches the longest series in Barons’ history, joining a first-round matchup with Hamilton in 2011 that ended in 6 games. Regardless of the scheduled length of subsequent series, each of the Barons’ last 5 series has gone either 4 or 5 games.

BAGEL BLUES: The Barons have been shut out in back-to-back games for just the second time in franchise history. San Antonio and Abbotsford blanked them Nov. 4 and Nov. 9 of this season, keying a club-record scoreless drought of 187:02 spanning parts of 4 games. The current stretch without a goal of any kind is 121:17 dating to an empty-net goal by Jonathan Cheechoo at 18:43 of the third period of Game 3 on Wednesday. The Barons have gone slightly more than 8 full periods and 163:25 of playing time without scoring into an occupied net since Philippe Cornet lit the lamp behind Petr Mrazek at 16:35 of the opening period on Wednesday. Mrazek enters this game having stopped 100 consecutive shots since Cornet’s goal.

PLAYOFF PATTER: Toni Rajala leads the Calder Cup playoffs with 63 shots, 10 more than the Griffins’ Tomas Tatar. The Barons have out-shot the Griffins in 4 straight games after the shots were even in the series opener, 28-28. Grand Rapids entered this series having out-shot its opponents in each of its first 11 playoff games. The Barons have out-shot the Griffins in 12 of the last 14 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 run. 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. Cheechoo and Randy Jones are tied for second in playoff plus-minus at +14, trailing Matt Taormina of Syracuse (+15).

ARCOBELLO SHARES GOAL LEAD: Mark Arcobello is tied with Grand Rapids’ Tomas Tatar for the Calder Cup goal-scoring lead with 10. Arcobello’s 17 playoff points place him tied for second behind Syracuse’s Ondrej Palat, who leads with 20. Arcobello has had 9-game point and 5-game goal streaks during these playoffs. The point streak, snapped in Wednesday’s Game 3, 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’s 5-game goal streak, which ended in Game 1 of this series, was the longest in Calder Cup play since 2011.

AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 29-for-31 (93.5%) on the penalty kill in its 9 Calder Cup wins this spring and 18-for-27 (66.7%) on the PK in its 6 losses. For the playoffs, the Barons are 9-for-64 on the power play (14.1%), while the penalty kill has allowed 11 power play goals in 58 times short (81.0%). In this series, OKC is 1-for-21 on the power play and 12-for-15 on the penalty kill.

Recent Results:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
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
June 1 GR L, 0-4 Danis (3, EN, 28) Mrazek (0, 40) 2,978
June 2 GR L, 0-3 Danis (3, 22) Mrazek (0, 37) 3,136

Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Tonight @ 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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