By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 03/30/2012

Oklahoma City Barons (41-18-4-5) at Milwaukee Admirals (34-27-2-3)
Barons Game 69 |  Road Game 35 |  AHL Game 1025
March 30, 2012, 7 pm CDT  | Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

TONIGHT: The Barons open a 2-game trip with their second and final visit this season to the Bradley Center to face the Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators). Milwaukee has won 2 of the 3 games between the clubs during a season series that wraps up tonight, including the only matchup at the Bradley Center 3-2 on Nov. 13. The Barons are a standing point away from clinching a Calder Cup playoff spot. OKC leads the Western Conference with 91 points, 8 more than Toronto. The Admirals are 11th in the conference with 73 points, 2 back of a large tie for 8th.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons’ magic number to clinch a Calder Cup playoff spot is 1. OKC officially earns a playoff berth with a point tonight, or any two of the following: (1) a Peoria loss (reg/OT/SO) at Rockford; (2) an Abbotsford loss (reg/OT/SO) vs. Chicago; (3) a Rochester regulation loss vs. Toronto. The Barons have at least 1 standing point in 9 of the last 10 games (6-1-2-1), 10 of their last 12 and 11 of the last 14 games. The Barons lead the Western Conference in points (91), the second-highest total in the league behind Norfolk (99). OKC’s point percentage (.669) is second only to Norfolk’s .717. The Barons are +39 in goal differential, second in the league behind Norfolk (+79).

PAAJARVI UP; MARCOU SIGNS ATO: Edmonton recalled left winger Magnus Paajarvi today. Paajarvi is on OKC’s Clear Day list and eligible to return later this season. On Wednesday, the Oiler signed defenseman Mike Marcou to an Amateur Tryout (ATO). Marcou just finished his senior season at UMass-Amherst, where he had a career-high 21 points on 6 goals and 15 assists in 34 games.

BARONS REACH NEW TERRITORY: With 91 points, OKC has matched its point total from the 2010-11 inaugural season. This season’s Barons needed 67 games to reach 91, while last year’s required 79. OKC has already surpassed its win total from last season, 41-40. The past 2 years mark the first time in the Edmonton’s NHL tenure its top affiliate, shared or exclusive, has had back-to-back 40-win seasons.

DANIS SHARES LEAD: Yann Danis is tied with Lake Erie’s Cedrick Desjardins for the AHL’s goals-against average lead at 2.00. Danis is tied for fourth in wins (24), tied for second in shutouts (5) and fourth in save percentage (.926). In 4 starts since returning from a brief injury, Danis is 3-0-1, 1.72, .940.

POWER TRIPS: The Barons are 27-1-2-4 when scoring at least 1 power play goal. When they tally 2 or more in a game, they are 7-0-0-1. When held without a power play goal, the Barons are 14-17-2-1. The Barons have faced more penalty kills than power plays in 5 straight and 6 of the last 7 games. In 11 of the past 15 games, OKC has had more penalty kills than power play chances and in the other 4 games the chances were even. OKC is 6-for-48 (12.5%) in those last 15 games on the power play while killing off 64 of 80 times short in the same span (80.0%). The last the Barons had more power plays than times short was Feb. 22 vs. Texas, a 5-2 home win.

BLUE LINE BOOST: After going 10 games without a goal by a defenseman from Feb. 19-March 10, the Barons have 6 goals from blueliners in the past 7 games: 3 from Taylor Chorney and one each from Kevin Montgomery, Dylan Yeo and Bryan Helmer. OKC is 14-2-0-2 when a defenseman scores a goal, 4-0-0-0 when the D scores twice.

PLUSES: Ryan Keller is tied for fourth in the AHL in plus-minus at +25. Josh Green is tied for 13th at +18. Triston Grant and Mark Arcobello are part of a group tied for 19th at +16.

ODDS AND ENDS: Hunter Tremblay is tied with Hershey’s Chris Bourque for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals with 5...Bryan Rodney has 4 assists in the past 2 games and 6 in the past 4 contests...the Barons unleashed 22 shots on goal in Sunday’s third period, a franchise high for an individual period...OKC out-shot Grand Rapids 44-34 in Sunday’s 4-1 loss.

March 26: Ryan Lowery
recalled from Stockton and Cameron Abney reassigned from Stockton.
March 28:
Signed Mike Marcou to an ATO.
March 30: Magnus Paajarvi
recalled by Edmonton.

Player                     Issue              Out                 
Dan Ringwald
       concussion   week-to-week
Curtis Hamilton
    knee               week-to-week
Andrew Lord
         concussion   indefinitely
Taylor Chorney
     upper body    indefinitely
K. Montgomery
     lower body     indefinitely

Last 5 games:
Date        Opp.     Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie            Attn.
March 17 @ Tex    W, 4-3      LeNeveu (3, 25)             Raycroft (4, 24)          5,767
March 18 @ Hou   SOL, 1-2  Danis (1, 21)                   Fallon (1, 36)             4,848
March 23 Tex        W, 3-1      Danis (1, 34)                   Campbell (3, 32)        3,146
March 24 GR         W, 5-2      Danis (2, 31)                   McCollum (5, 24)        5,398
March 25 GR         L, 1-4       LeNeveu (3, 30)             McCollum (1, 43)        2,710

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date        Opp.          Site                                Time   Broadcast
March 31  @ GR         Van Andel Arena            6:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 3      Ham            Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 6      Peo            Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 7      Chi              Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM
April 13    Hou            Cox Center                      7:00     KXY 96.1 FM  

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