GAME NOTES: Barons vs. Griffins - Game 5

Sunday, 02.06.2013 / 2:30 PM
Jim Byers  -

(3) Grand Rapids Griffins at (5) Oklahoma City Barons, Game 5

Calder Cup Playoffs | Series “N” Western Conference Finals | Series tied 2-2

June 2, 2013, 4 pm CDT | Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Radio: KXY 96.1 FM

TODAY: The Barons host the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) in the fifth game of this best-of-7, Western Conference Final series, which is 2-2 after the Griffins’ 4-0 win last night. This is the last game of the series to be contested in OKC. Game 6 is Tuesday and Game 7 (if necessary) would be Wednesday in Grand Rapids. Each club is 1-1 on home ice so far in the series. OKC and Grand Rapids split 4 regular-season meetings, with the home team winning each. All-time, OKC is 10-6-0-4 against the Griffins (including playoffs), 6-3-0-1 at the Cox Center.

HOME STREAK SNAPPED: OKC is 5-2 at home during this post-season, but had a 5-game winning streak at the Cox Center snapped last night. The streak spanned all 3 series, from Game 2 of the opening round against Charlotte, through all 3 local games in the 2nd round against Texas, to Game 3 on Wednesday. OKC has out-scored its opposition 28-15 at the Cox Center in the playoffs. The Barons lead the AHL with 51 goals scored. Their +20 goal differential is No. 2 in the playoffs behind the Syracuse Crunch (+25), who earned a spot in the Calder Cup Finals with a 7-0 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last night. Only 1 of OKC’s 9 playoff wins has been by 1 goal, a 2-1 OT win May 9 at Texas in Game 1 of the second round.

PLAYOFF PATTER: Toni Rajala leads the Calder Cup playoffs with 58 shots, 7 more than the Griffins’ Tomas Tatar. The Barons have out-shot the Griffins in 3 straight games, including 40-32 last night. Shots were even in the series opener, 28-28. Grand Rapids entered this series having out-shot its opponents in its first 11 playoff games. The Barons have out-shot the Griffins in 10 of the last 11 periods after Grand Rapids had out-shot its opposition in 29 of its first 34 Calder Cup periods to begin the post-season and 13 straight until the Barons’ current run. The Barons have won 8 of their last 11 games, scoring just 2 goals in their 3 losses in that span. OKC is 12-0-0-0 (regular season and playoffs) when Jonathan Cheechoo scores a goal and 20-3-0-0 when he registers a point. Cheechoo’s 5-game point streak ended last night in the shutout defeat, OKC’s first in the playoffs since Game 4 of last season’s Western Conference Final at Toronto (3-0).

ARCO TOPS IN GOALS: Mark Arcobello leads the Calder Cup playoffs in goals with 10, all at even strength, and is tied for 2nd in points with 17. Syracuse’s Ondrej Palat leads with 20 points. Arcobello’s 9-game point streak, tops in the AHL this post-season, was snapped on Wednesday and he’s been held pointless in the past 2 games, a post-season first this year. Arcobello’s previous 9-game point streak was the longest in Calder Cup play since Hershey’s Keith Aucoin recorded a point in 12 straight from April 14-May 17, 2010. Arcobello had a 5-game goal streak, the longest in Calder Cup play since 2011, snapped in Game 1 of this series, but he has goals in 6 of the last 9 games.

LEADERBOARD: The Barons feature 3 of the AHL’s top 7 playoff point scorers: Mark Arcobello (tied for 2nd with 17 points), plus Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala, who are part of a tie for 4th with 14. Randy Jones shares the AHL’s playoff plus-minus lead at +15 with Syracuse’s Matt Taormina. Jonathan Cheechoo is 3rd at +14. Taylor Fedun is 7th at +11.

AS THE PK GOES: OKC is 29-for-31 (93.5%) on the penalty kill in its 9 Calder Cup wins this spring and 15-for-23 (65.2) on the PK in its 5 losses. For the playoffs, the Barons are 9-for-58 on the power play (15.5%), while the penalty kill has allowed 10 power play goals in 54 times short (81.5%). In this series, OKC is 1-for-15 on the power play and 9-for-11 on the penalty kill.

EVEN-KEELED: The Barons have gone 51 games (regular season and playoffs) without losing back-to-back games (in the AHL, only regulation or overtime losses count toward losing streaks). The last time OKC lost consecutive games in regulation or overtime were the last 2 of a club-record 5-game losing streak Jan. 13 and 18. Starting Jan. 19 (the first day of the 2012-13 NHL regular season) through the end of the AHL regular season, the Barons went 22-9-0-6, a .676 point percentage second only to Providence’s .800.

Recent Results:

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

May 15 Tex W, 7-3 Danis (3, 26) Nilstorp (6, EN, 39) 1,795

May 16 Tex W, 5-1 Danis (1, 33) Nilstorp (5, 29) 2,094

May 24 @ GR L, 1-2 Danis (2, 26) Mrazek (1, 27) 5,016

May 25 @ GR W, 4-2 Danis (2, 20) Mrazek (3, EN, 33) 5,435

May 29 GR W, 4-1 Danis (1, 20) Mrazek (3, EN, 29) 2,320

June 1 GR L, 0-4 Danis (3, EN, 28) Mrazek (0, 40) 2,978

Remaining Series Schedule (all times Central):

Date Opp. Site Time Broadcast

Today GR Cox Center 4:00 KXY 96.1 FM

June 4 @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM

June 5* @ GR Van Andel Arena 6:00 KXY 96.1 FM

*if necessary

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