OKLAHOMA CITY – The Toronto Marlies scored four first period goals and came away with a 6-5 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Barons Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons (6-5-1-1) scored four times on the power play, tying a franchise record. Oklahoma City trailed by three goals with four minutes remaining in regulation and battled back to tie the game with under a minute left in the third period.
"I just saw (Anton Lander) come off the bench for us and, it was almost like a power play play where I just shot it on net and the puck was laying there for me so I just had to put it in," said Nugent-Hopkins of his game-tying goal with 22 seconds to play in the third period.
Barons head coach Todd Nelson talked more about the game.
"It was kind of a crazy game," he said. "It's pretty obvious that we can't give up a four-goal lead in the first period."
Toronto opened the scoring 36 seconds in as Will Acton redirected a Paul Ranger shot to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead. Acton’s goal proved to be the first of four first-period tallies for the visiting team as Toronto got 12 shots on goal in the period.
The Marlies doubled the lead at 17:45 as Nicolas Deschamps put home a third rebound attempt from right in front of Olivier Roy in the slot. Less than 30 seconds later, Kenny Ryan extended the lead to 3-0 at 18:24 as his shot hit off Roy and went in. Following the goal, the Barons replaced Roy with Yann Danis in goal. Roy gave up three goals on 10 shots in 18:24 of ice time.
Greg Scott gave the Marlies three goals in 1:27 as he scored on a rebound attempt to make it 4-0 Toronto at 19:12. The Barons put 10 shots on goal in the period.
"I'm sure that Olivier would want the first two goals back," said Nelson. "The other two goals, our coverage was just guys being lazy and not aware of who's in behind them."
Nelson reiterated that the team needs to be better defensively.
"These are things we have to work on with our D zone. We'll continue to work on them. We're getting better. I thought we turned the corner Saturday night in Abbotsford. Obviously (we didn't)."
The Barons broke through in the second period but the Marlies still held the lead at the intermission. Oklahoma City led in shots 6-1 midway through the period and took an even larger lead after a four-on-four resulted in open ice. Jordan Eberle had a chance early but his shot just went wide of the goal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had a chance but Rynnas made the save to keep the Barons off the board.
Danis made a point-blank save on Joe Colborne before Curtis Hamilton had his shot knocked down by Rynnas. The defensive play of the game for the Barons came as Justin Schultz’s poke check prevented a potential Toronto breakaway.
The Barons got a barrage of shots against Rynnas but were unable to find the back of the net. The pressure resulted in a powerplay for the Barons.
Hall broke the shutout at 16:19 of the period, while the Barons were on the powerplay. Hall put home a beautiful pass from Nugent-Hopkins to cut the Toronto lead to 4-1. Eberle earned the secondary assist on the goal.
The Barons came through on the powerplay again early in the third as Mark Arcobello scored with one second remaining on the powerplay to cut the Marlies lead to 4-2. Acrobello’s rebound goal at 4:53 came after a shot from Martin Marincin.
The Marlies got a goal back just 15 seconds into a powerplay. Mike Zigomanis scored at 7:10 to extend the Toronto lead back to three goals at 5-2.
Eberle had a prime scoring chance late in the period as a pass from Nugent-Hopkins set him up but Rynnas just got a piece of the puck to send it high.
The Barons had a 5-on-3 late in the game and after the two-man advantage expired, a potential goal was ruled no-goal on the ice. The call was overturned and Nugent-Hopkins earned his fourth goal of the year at 16:44.
Eberle cut it to a one-goal game with a late powerplay goal at 17:57. The Barons pulled Danis and took advantage of the extra attacker to cut the Marlies lead to 5-4.
Nugent-Hopkins banged home a loose puck in the crease with 21.9 seconds left in the game to complete the comeback from the 4-0 deficit. Nugent-Hopkins’ goal came at 19:38 and was the first non-powerplay goal for the Barons on the afternoon.
The Marlies got a power play with 2:30 left in the extra period and Danis came up big for the Barons, making several saves. Just after the penalty expired, Jake Gardiner riffled a one-timer past Danis to give the Marlies the 6-5 win.
"We were pretty strong with the offensive zone play. Our power play was working today. It would have been nice to withstand that (Marlies overtime power play)," said Nelson. "We killed off the penalty but they scored within two seconds. Alex couldn't get back to help out. With the way the game turned out, we got a point and were fortunate to get a point. We battled back so there are some positives with this game but we were inconsistent right from the start, so we have to be better than that."
Oklahoma City plays the Milwaukee Admirals in a pair of games at the Cox Convention Center this weekend. Puck drop Friday and Saturday is set for 6 p.m. MT.
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