By Josh Evans, OKC Barons on 02/24/2012

Oklahoma City Barons (34-14-2-3) at Charlotte Checkers (30-19-2-3)
Barons Game 54 | Road Game 26 | AHL Game 800
Feb. 24, 2012, 6 pm CST | Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Broadcast: KXY 96.1 FM

The Barons visit the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) for the first of back-to-back games between division leaders. This is the seventh of eight meetings between the teams. OKC is 2-3-0-1 against Charlotte, with a shootout loss and an overtime win in December at Time Warner Cable Arena. This begins a season-high stretch of six straight OKC road games broken into two segments. The Barons lead the West by 11 over Houston with a league-high 73 points. Charlotte leads the Midwest with 65 points, one more than Chicago.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons return to the road tonight after splitting a four-game homestand with a 5-1 win over Texas in their most recent game on Wednesday. OKC has won its last five road games, which matches a season high and club record. OKC is 2nd in road point percentage at .780 (19-5-0-1). The Barons are 11th in home percentage at .607 (15-9-2-2). The Barons enter tonight’s game leading the AHL in points (73) and wins (34), while second in standing point percentage (.689). OKC has allowed the fewest goals in the league (113) and average the fewest allowed per game at 2.13.

SPECIALTIES: The Barons have surrendered just six power-play goals in their last 20 games dating to Jan. 1. OKC has gone 68-for-74 on the penalty kill (91.9%) in those 20 games. The Barons are second in the AHL in overall PK rate at 86.9. The Barons are tied for 15th overall in power play percentage at 18.0. OKC is 24-1-1-2 with scoring a power play goal, 7-0-0-1 when scoring more than one in a game and 10-13-1-1 when held without a power play goal.

IN THE CREASE: OKC’s goaltenders are 1-2 in the AHL in goals-against average. Yann Danis, recalled by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, is on top at 1.98 with David LeNeveu second at 2.00. In addition to departing the AHL as the leader in goals-against average, Danis has the third-most wins (21). He’s second in shutouts (5) and tied for second with LeNeveu and Chicago’s Matt Climie in save percentage (.926).

CHART TOPPERS: Philippe Cornet is tied for eighth in the AHL in goals (22) and part of a large tie for the lead in game-winners (6) that includes teammate Ryan Keller. Cornet leads the AHL in shooting percentage (27.2), with 22 goals on 81 shots. Ryan Keller is fifth in plus-minus (+21). Hunter Tremblay is tied for second in shorthanded goals (4).

SHOT TALK: The Barons have out-shot the opposition in 16 of the last 21 games, going 13-7-1-0 in that time. The Barons are 19-6-1-1 when out-shooting the opposition, 14-8-1-2 when out-shot and 1-0-0-0 when shots are even after regulation. The Barons have allowed 29 shots or fewer in 22 of their last 24.

HELMER HITS MILESTONE: Bryan Helmer played his 1,072nd AHL game on Friday, moving him past AHL Hall-of-Famer Harry Pidhirny into sole possession of third all-time in games. Only Willie Marshall (1,205) and Fred Glover (1,201), also AHL Hall members, have played more. Helmer leads all AHL defensemen in games played and owns the career points record for defensemen with 555.

RODNEY ARRIVES: The Edmonton Oilers acquired 7-year veteran defenseman Bryan Rodney from Syracuse (Anaheim Ducks) on Feb. 16 for center Ryan O’Marra. Rodney made his Barons debut Friday and recorded his first OKC goal and assist on Saturday. He captained the Charlotte Checkers last season.

ODDS AND ENDS: Mark Arcobello notched two goals in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Texas, the 15th two-goal game by a Baron this season...OKC has yet to record a hat trick this season...David LeNeveu is 5-1-0 in his last six starts dating to Jan. 15 with a 1.51 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in that time...Wednesday’s victory upped OKC’s overall record to 11-2-1-0 after a regulation loss...Texas pulled Andrew Raycroft after OKC’s fourth goal on Wednesday, the sixth time an opponent has replaced its starting netminder this season...the Barons are 6-0-0-0 when facing both opposing goalies in a game...the Barons are 16-0-0-0 when scoring four or more goals.

Last 5 games:
Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.
Feb. 11 @ Abb W, 2-1 Danis (1, 24) Karlsson (2, 19) 3,529
Feb. 17 Mil L, 3-5 Danis (4, EN, 21) Smith (3, 29) 3,018
Feb. 18 Mil W, 3-2 LeNeveu (2, 22) Engren (3, 34) 6,266
Feb. 19 SA L, 0-1 Danis (1, 23) Grumet-Morris (0, 22) 3,093
Feb. 22 Texas W, 5-1 LeNeveu (1, 31) Raycroft (4, 14, DNF) 2,259

Next 5 games (all times Central):
Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast
Feb. 25 @ Charlotte Time Warner Cable Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 2 @ Peoria Carver Arena 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 3 @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 4 @ Chicago Allstate Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM
March 7 @ Peoria Carver Arena 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

Feb. 8: OKC released Dan Ringwald from a PTO and signed him to a Standard Player Contract.
Feb. 16: Acquired Bryan Rodney from Syracuse (Anaheim Ducks) for Ryan O’Marra.
Feb. 20: Yann Danis recalled by Edmonton; Olivier Roy assigned to OKC from Stockton.
Feb. 21: Ryan Martindale assigned to OKC from Stockton.

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