IN THE NEWS
BARONS GAME NOTES - APRIL 12
By Jim Byers,
Oklahoma City Barons (36-24-2-8) at Rochester Americans (39-27-3-1)
Radio: KXY 96.1 FM
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1010938-40.pdf&client_code=ahl
TONIGHT: The Barons continue a 4-game trip with their only visit of the regular season to Blue Cross Arena to face the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres). The teams are tied for 6th in the Western Conference with 82 points. OKC has won 2 straight overall and 6 of its last 7 while also being unbeaten in a franchise-record 9 straight on the road at 8-0-0-1. The Barons opened the trip with a 4-1 win on Wednesday at Houston. Rochester rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take the only meeting of the season between these teams 3-2 in a shootout March 19 at the Cox Center.
OFF THE TOP: The Barons have out-shot their opponent in 9 consecutive games, going 7-1-0-1. OKC has limited its opposition to 28 shots or fewer in 10 straight games. The Barons have earned at least 1 standing point in 15 of the last 19 games, going 12-4-0-3. The Barons have allowed 3 goals or fewer in 13 straight games, going 9-2-0-2 during that run. OKC is 32-10-0-3 when allowing 3 or fewer. Since returning from his latest stint with the Edmonton Oilers in mid-March, Yann Danis 7-1-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. The Barons have allowed the first goal in 4 straight and 5 of the last 6 games. They are 18-9-0-4 when tallying the first goal and 18-15-2-4 when allowing it. OKC has 8 victories this season when trailing by 2 or more goals in a game and 4 of their last 7 wins have been come-from-behind efforts after facing a 2-0 deficit. OKC is 7-0-0-0 when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 11-1-0-0 when he has a point. OKC took both games played in Rochester last season, 4-2 and 5-2, while the Amerks have 2 shootout wins and an OT decision in 3 all-time clashes in OKC.
SPECIAL SKILLS: The Barons have not allowed a power play goal in 10 of the last 11 games, going 30-for-31 in the penalty kill in that stretch beginning with the previous matchup with the Americans on March 19. The Barons’ PK percentage has risen from 76.2 prior to the March 19 game to its current 78.2. The Barons own the league’s top power play percentage at 21.7. OKC is 24-11-2-3 when scoring at least 1 power play goal and 13-4-1-0 when notching 2 or more.
ANOTHER HONOR FOR SCHULTZ: Defenseman Justin Schultz, who played the first 34 games of the season with the Barons before a labor agreement was reached to begin the NHL season, was named yesterday a First-Team AHL All-Star. Schultz remains the defense scoring leader with 48 points. Earlier this week, Schultz was named to the 2013 AHL All-Rookie Team.
LANDER AND STRETCH RETURN: Anton Lander, the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 31, was returned to the Barons from the Edmonton Oilers yesterday. Lander notched a club-record 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his most recent game with the Barons March 30 at Rockford. He did not play for the Oilers in this most recent NHL stint. C.J. Stretch returned to the Barons’ lineup on Wednesday after signing a PTO for the second time in 6 weeks. Stretch had 4 goals and 2 assists in 10 games during his first tour after signing his original PTO Feb. 26. He was released from that on March 25 and returned to finish the regular season with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign, where he accounted for 62 points (28 goals, 34 assists) in 60 games and added a league-leading 5 playoff goals in a 4-game sweep of Utah.
RAJALA DOUBLES UP: Toni Rajala has had consecutive 2-point games after scoring a goal and adding an assist on Wednesday at Houston. He has 11 multi-point contests in 40 AHL games this season. The 22-year-old rookie from Finland has spent two stints with OKC and two at ECHL Stockton this season. Rajala is 4th in the AHL in points with 36 since Jan. 11, when his current OKC stint began.
TALE OF TWO SEASONS: The Barons played 34 games to start this season with the services of Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Hall and RNH did not play all 34 games). The Barons went 18-12-1-3 with those current Edmonton Oilers in the lineup, a .588 standing point percentage. In 36 games since they returned to the NHL, OKC is 18-12-1-5 (.583). The Barons were 7th in the Western Conference on Jan. 6, when they left for the NHL, and they are tied for 6th entering tonight’s game.
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