By Jim Byers, on 12/17/2011

Houston Aeros (16-4-2-6) at Oklahoma City Barons (19-7-0-1)
Barons Game 28  |  Home Game 14 |  AHL Game 414
Dec. 17, 2011, 7 pm CST  | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Broadcast: News Radio 1000 KTOK

TONIGHT: The top two teams in the AHL meet for the fourth time this season and second time in OKC. The Barons and goalie Yann Danis blanked the Aeros 2-0 in the previous local meeting Oct. 16. The Barons have won both games at Houston in shootouts, most recently Dec. 8 by a 2-1 final. OKC is tied for second with Abbotsford, 1 point behind Houston in the West Division after the Aeros’ 4-1 win over Texas last night. OKC has the league’s best standing point percentage at .722  with Houston second at .714, the only teams in the AHL with percentages above .700.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have dealt Houston 1 of their 4 regulation losses and 2 of their league-high 6 shootout defeats. OKC has won 7 of its last 9 overall. The Barons are 11-4-0-0 against West Division opponents, going 4-2-0-0 against West teams at the Cox Center. The West Division has the AHL’s top 3 teams by points and point percentage. OKC and Abbotsford share the lead in wins (19), while the Barons lead in standing point percentage (.722) with Houston at .714 and Abbotsford .696. Houston has collected at least 1 standing point in 13 of its last 14 games, going 8-1-2-3 in that span.

TEUBERT, PAAJARVI, ROY ARRIVE: The Edmonton Oilers returned defenseman Colten Teubert to the Barons on Thursday for his third OKC stint this season. Teubert has 2 goals, 3 assists and is +3 in 13 Barons games this season and has 1 assist in 10 games with the Oilers. Left winger Magnus Paajarvi, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, was assigned by Edmonton yesterday for his first AHL stint. Paajarvi, who had 3 assists in 25 Oiler games this season, accounted for 15 goals and 19 assists in 80 NHL games last season as a rookie. Ryan Martindale and Cameron Abney have been reassigned to ECHL Stockton after playing against Texas on Saturday and Tuesday. Goalie Olivier Roy has been promoted from Stockton. Roy went 4-8-2 with 2 shutouts and a 2.75 GAA in 14 games for the Thunder.

TOP 10 NETMINDERS: David LeNeveu’s 2.01 goals-against average is third in the league behind Lake Erie’s Cedrick Desjardins (1.62) and Worcester’s Tyson Sexsmith (1.83). LeNeveu and Yann Danis share the sixth-best save percentage in the AHL at .927 with Peoria’s Ben Bishop. Danis’ 2.22 GAA is ninth in the league.

SEVERAL BARONS AMONG AHL LEADERS: Despite missing the last 2 games with an injury and being held off the goal column for 5 games before that, Philippe Cornet remains tied with Hershey’s Chris Bourque for the second-most goals in the AHL at 15. Syracuse’s Kyle Palmieri (currently on recall to Anaheim) and Norfolk’s Cory Conacher share the lead with 17. Cornet, Ryan Keller and Palmieri top the AHL with 4 game-winning goals. Cornet is No. 1 in shooting percentage at 34.9. Hunter Tremblay tops the league with 3 shorthanded goals. Alex Plante and Keller are +11, part of a large tie for 11th in the league. Kevin Montgomery is part of the next group at +10.

SPECIALTIES: The Barons are 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in their past 2 games and 21-for-22 in the past 6. OKC’s PK rate of 86.2 is third in the league. The Barons have killed 54 of 58 times short at home, a 93.1 rate that is No. 1 in the league among home percentages.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Barons have won 4 of their last 6 and in that time have not scored or allowed more than 3 goals...OKC has played 17 one-goal games, going 11-5-0-1...only Manchester (18) and Providence (18) have contested more one-goal games...OKC is 15-0-0-0 when scoring 3 or more goals and 4-7-0-1 with 2 or fewer.

Last 5 games:
Date      Opp.       Result     OKC Goalie (GA,SV)   Opp. Goalie             Attn.
Dec. 3    @ SA       L, 1-2        LeNeveu (2, 22)             Grumet-Morris (1, 26) 8,290
Dec. 8    @ Hou     SOW, 2-1  Danis (1, 23)                   Kuemper (1, 34)         8,175
Dec. 9    Peoria      W, 3-1       LeNeveu (1, 20)             Bishop (2, EN, 32)     4,345
Dec. 10  @ Tex      W, 3-2       Danis (2, 27)                   Beskorowany (3, 16)  4,878
Dec. 13  Texas       L, 2-3        LeNeveu (L)/Danis          Beskorowany (2, 18)  2,393

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date      Opp.            Site                                            Time  Broadcast
Dec. 18  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           5:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 20  @ Charlotte  Time Warner Cable Arena           6:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 27  Rochester     Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM
Dec. 28  Rochester     Cox Center                                  7:00    1340 The Game
Dec. 31  San Antonio Cox Center                                  7:00    KXY 96.1 FM

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