Oilers second-year forward Nail Yakupov has had his fair share of adversity and story lines surrounding him this season. However, he seems to be slowly progressing and is currently on a three-game point streak.
Yakupov credits his teammates and linemates with helping him through the tough times.
"I feel much better," said Yakupv. "It's all about the teammates, line mates who have helped me every shift. It's an easy thing when you see from the bench guys working hard and then you're doing the same thing and it's very simple and very easy to play because you see the guys fighting for each other and working hard, playing hard and we're scoring a lot of goals. It's a good thing and you try to keep going the same way."
C.J. Stretch scored the first two goals for the Oklahoma City Barons, who defeated the Abbotsford Heat 4-1 Saturday night at Cox Convention Center. The Barons victory gave them a split on the weekend series and ended the Heat’s winning streak at nine games.
The Barons got on the board first at 12:37 of the second period when Andrew Miller won a race to the puck and fed Stetch a pass from behind the Heat net. Stretch added his second at 19:40 when Austin Fyten gathered the puck in the Heat zone and dropped the puck back for Stretch in the slot where his shot beat Joey MacDonald. Stretch’s two goals extended his point streak to four games, a season high for the Barons. Austin Fyten and Andrew Miller assisted on both goals as the line of Fyten, Stretch and Miller continued their productive play over the weekend.
Paul Byron brought the Heat back within one-goal at 9:59 of the third period, but Linus Omark regained the Barons’ two-goal lead on a powerplay goal less than two minutes later.
Down 3-1, the Heat pulled MacDonald for an extra attacker, but Ben Eager gathered a neutral zone turnover on the right wing and put the Barons up 4-1 with the empty net goal at 18:27 of the third period. The Eager goal gave the Barons their largest margin of victory on the season to date.
Ilya Bryzgalov was sharp for the Barons all night as he stopped 25 of 26 shots in his second straight appearance for the Barons to earn the win. The Barons were 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Heat were held scoreless in their four power play chances. Bryzgalov made some of his biggest saves to keep the Barons penalty kill perfect on the night.
Stretch earned the first star, Fyten was second star and Bryzgalov was the third star of the victory. With the victory the Barons improved to 7-7-0-2 on the season, while Abbotsford dropped to 13-5-0-1, which is still an AHL best.
The Barons next action will be Tuesday, November 19 at 10:30 a.m. when they head to the AT&T Center to play the San Antonio Rampage.
Click here for the boxscore: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011326