Monday, 31.12.2012 / 10:44 AM
Jim Byers  -

Texas Stars (16-10-3-2) at Oklahoma City Barons (16-10-1-3)

Barons Game 31 | Home Game 17 | AHL Game 469

Dec. 31, 2012, 6 pm CST | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Radio: AM 1340 The Game

TONIGHT: For the fourth time in their last 5 games the Barons take on the Texas Stars (Dallas Stars). OKC has won 3 straight, including the last 2 at home to match a season high for consecutive home wins (2). In their last game on Friday, the Barons beat San Antonio 3-2 in a shootout. Prior to that, OKC had faced Texas 3 straight and after being blanked 3-0 Dec. 21 rebounded with 6-2 and 5-4 wins. OKC is 4-1-0-0 vs. Texas this season during the 12-game season series. The Barons are tied for 7th in the Western Conference with 36 points. Texas is tied for 5th with 37 points.

OFF THE TOP: The Barons have out-scored the opposition in the first period 39-23, totaling the most first-period goals in the AHL. The Barons have had a lead or tie at the first intermission in 14 straight games, during which they are 7-5-0-2. The last time OKC trailed after 1 period was Nov. 21 at Texas, when the Stars led 3-1 after 20 minutes in an eventual 6-4 OKC win. Taylor Hall set OKC’s season high for shots in a game with 10 in Friday’s 3-2 shootout win over San Antonio. Jordan Eberle added 9 shots. Hall’s hat trick against Texas on Thursday was OKC’s second this season and both came in a 5-game span. OKC had 27 two-goal games, but no hat tricks, from April 8, 2011 to Dec. 15, 2012, when Jordan Eberle put home 4 against the Rampage at the Cox Center. Friday’s game, the 25th all-time regular season meeting between OKC and San Antonio, was the first to go beyond regulation time tied. The teams played 3 OT games in last spring’s second-round Calder Cup series, with each won by OKC. The Barons have the league’s top 3 scorers dating to Nov. 10: Eberle (14G, 18A), Justin Schultz (10G, 18A) and Hall (11G, 17A).

FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Barons are 10-4-1-1 at home, a .688 standing point percentage good for sixth in the AHL. OKC’s 22 home standing points are fourth-most, 1 behind the leaders. Jordan Eberle has 11 goals and 17 assists at home in 16 games played. If only his 28 home points were considered, Eberle would be tied for 15th in the league in scoring. Justin Schultz has 10 goals and 16 assists in 16 home contests.

EBERLE AND SCHULTZ TOP CHARTS: Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz share the AHL point lead with 43. Eberle tops the league with 20 goals. He was the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for November. Schultz leads the AHL with 27 assists and 20 power play points. The CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, Schultz has collected multiple points in 15 of 30 games, including 10 games with 2 assists. Schultz is tied for third in the league in goals (16), 4 away from matching the rookie defenseman goal scoring record (20), set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. Schultz has points in 17 of the last 19 games, collecting 10 goals and 18 assists in that span. Schultz has been held off the scoresheet 4 times this season and in 3 of those the Barons were shut out.

SPECIAL ATTENTION: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 23.7, with 32 goals in 135 opportunities. They’re No. 1 at home at 30.9, with 21 goals in 68 tries. The Barons are 8-for-22 (36.4%) on the man advantage in 5 games against Texas. OKC has killed 70 of its last 82 times short spanning 19 games (85.4) after killing 38 of 54 times short over its first 11 games (70.4%). OKC’s season PK rate of 79.4 is 30th. Texas is 4-for-19 (21.1) on the man advantage against the Barons this season. Taylor Hall is tied with 3 others for the AHL lead in power play goals with 7.

TRANSACTIONS: The Edmonton Oilers reassigned forwards Philippe Cornet and Ryan Martindale to Stockton of the ECHL on Sunday. Cornet played 8 OKC games without a point and returns for his second stint with Stockton. Martindale opened the season with the Barons, was injured Nov. 2 and only played once since, totaling 3 assists in 7 games. The Barons signed RW Erick Lizon to a PTO on Thursday and the 27-year-old has played the past 2 games. Lizon has spent the past season and a half with the Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League. He skated OKC’s former CHL club in 2007-08, becoming the first player to have appeared for both OKC Barons and Blazers. He had 3 assists and 71 PIM in 24 Wichita games this season.

Last 5 Games:

Date Opp. Result OKC Goalie (GA,SV) Opp. Goalie Attn.

Dec. 16 @ Hou SOL, 3-4 Danis (3, 42) Hackett (3, 17) 9,304

Dec. 21 Texas L, 0-3 Danis (2, EN, 23) Nilstorp (0, 21) 2,784

Dec. 22 Texas W, 6-2 Danis (2, 39) Nilstorp (L)/Campbell 3,179

Dec. 27 Texas W, 5-4 Danis (4, 27) Campbell (5, 21) 5,354

Dec. 28 SA SOW, 3-2 Roy (2, 32) Markstrom (2, 42) 3,341

Next 5 games (all times Central):

Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast

Jan. 1 Houston Toyota Center 5:05 1340 AM

Jan. 4 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM

Jan. 5 Milwaukee BMO Harris Bradley 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

Jan. 6 Chicago Allstate Arena 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM

Jan. 11 Charlotte Cox Center 7:00 KXY 96.1 FM

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