BARONS GAME NOTES - MAY 4
By Jim Byers,
(5) Oklahoma City Barons (40-25-2-9) at (4) Charlotte Checkers (42-26-4-4)
AHL Media Kit: http://admin.leaguestat.com/download.php?file_path=new-pdf/1011054-42.pdf&client_code=ahl
TONIGHT: The Barons and Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) meet in the fifth and final game of this first-round, best-of-5 series. OKC set playoff club highs for goals in a game (8) and margin of victory (7) in last night’s 8-1 win to extend the series to its limit. The teams have split a pair of games so far in each arena this series, alternating wins starting with the Checkers’ 4-3 OT decision in Game 1. The teams split 8 regular-season meetings, with OKC taking 3 of 4 in Charlotte. Including playoffs, the Barons are 6-3-0-1 all-time at Time Warner Cable Arena.
FIRSTS: Last night’s 8-1 win set Barons all-time playoff highs for goals in a game and margin of victory. The previous high goal total was 5, achieved on 6 occasions. The former high margin of victory was 5, set in a 5-0 win at Houston in last season’s first-round opener at the Toyota Center. The 8 goals matched the second-highest total in any Barons game, joining an 8-2 win at Houston in the first regular season road game in club history Oct. 17, 2010. The club records for goals and margin of victory in any game, regular season or playoff, was set in a 10-1 win over Texas Oct. 15, 2011. Josh Green, Martin Marincin and Teemu Hartikainen each had 3 points last night, matching the club playoff mark held by Mark Arcobello, Randy Jones and Ryan Keller.
WINNER MOVES ON: This is the Barons’ 5th playoff series in their 3-season history and the first to reach a winner-take-all deciding game. Last night was OKC’s first win when facing elimination, as they improved to 1-2 in that category. The winner of this series will play No. 1 seeded Texas if Grand Rapids defeats Houston in their 5th and final game tonight. The Barons/Charlotte winner will meet No. 2 Toronto if Houston beats the Griffins tonight.
SERIES SNIPPETS: The Barons are 5-for-22 on the power play this series, a 22.7 percent rate that is 5th among playoff clubs. The Checkers are 5-for-19, 26.3, 4th in the Calder Cup. OKC went 3-for-5 on the power play last night, matching its playoff record for power play goals in a game. The Barons killed off all 4 Charlotte power plays. In OKC’s wins this series, their PK is a combined 7-for-7. In the Barons’ losses their PK is 7-for-12. Josh Green and Toni Rajala have points in all 4 games this series. Green shares the AHL playoff lead with 8 points (2G, 6A) with Houston’s Justin Fontaine. Last night was the first game of the series where the winning team out-shot the losing team, as the Barons had 37 shots to the Checkers’ 25. Thirteen of the Barons’ 18 skaters had at least 1 point last night.
WINS AND LOSSES: OKC has not had a 2-game losing streak since Jan. 13-18. In the AHL, only regulation and overtime defeats count toward losing streaks. Including this series, the Barons have gone 41 games without a 2-game losing streak. From Jan. 19 through the end of the regular season, the Barons went 22-9-0-6, a .676 standing point percentage second only to Providence’s .800 mark (31-7-0-2).
LANDER RETURNS: Center Anton Lander was loaned to the Barons by the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Lander had 3 stints with the Oilers, including one to finish the NHL regular season. He was the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 31 after he set AHL season highs and a Barons’ club record with 6 points, 3 goals and 3 assists, March 30 at Rockford. Lander had 9 goals and 11 assists in 47 AHL games this season, with the bulk of that production on the road (8 goals, 8 assists in 26 road games).
FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH: The Barons finished the regular campaign by winning 3 straight, 4 of their last 5 and 6 of their final 8 contests. Yann Danis went 10-2-3 with 2 shutouts, a 1.78 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in his final 15 games to finish the regular season after being loaned by Edmonton in mid-March. After not shutting out an opponent in the season’s first 71 games, the Barons lodged 3 shutouts in the final 5 outings, 2 by Danis and 1 by Niko Hovinen.
Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):
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