RNH, Eberle & Schultz each notch 3 points in 4-3 win
Barons pick up four power-play goals, earning a series split with Lake Erie
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz each recorded three points and the Oklahoma City Barons netted four power-play goals en route to a 4-3 win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday night.
"We changed things up a little bit and it just clicked," said Eberle of the power play. "At the end of the day, you've got to shoot the puck and just be greasy and that's what we did."
Nugent-Hopkins, with two goals on the night, was happy with how the power play performed.
"We got some good bounces out there today and it's just kind of been building over the past four or five games. Definitely it felt good but we've got to bear down and that's what we did tonight," RNH began.
"It's something we want to take pride in. We want to have the best power play in the league and you want to take pride in it."
The win wraps up the season series between these two teams after the Barons played them four times in their first five outings.
"It was big. I think that's a good team over there. We've had some good battles against them. It's weird we've played them four times already," said Eberle.
Bryan Lerg took an interference penalty within the first 20 seconds of the game to give the Barons an early power play. However, the home side was unable to generate much in the way of pressure during the two minutes.
About a minute later, Antti Tyrvainen speared Mark Olver in front of the Monsters net. Olver went down in pain and Tyrvainen received five minutes and a game misconduct for his actions.
During the kill, Magnus Paajarvi created a turnover and a two-on-one with Jordan Eberle. Paajarvi fed the puck over to Eberle. The puck went in off his skate and was ruled no goal as a result, due to a kicking motion.
On the next shift, Bryan Lerg wristed a shot from the high slot that beat Barons netminder Yann Danis and gave the Monsters a 1-0 lead.
Moments after the goal, Lake Erie's Luke Walker took a double minor for high sticking, giving the Barons a four-minute man advantage to try and tie the game.
Just before the period's midway point, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins wired a shot from the high slot past Monsters netminder Calvin Pickard to tie the game up at 1-1. Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz got the assists.
Lake Erie regained the lead with 6:20 to play in the period. Andrew Agozzino managed to push the puck across the goal line during a mad scramble in front and make it a 2-1 game.
The Barons tied the game with 2:02 remaining in the first. Jordan Eberle picked up the puck and cut across the middle before releasing a shot that beat Pickard.
After one period, shots on goal were 15-13 in favour of the Barons.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a hooking penalty in the opening minute of the second period to give the Monsters a power play.
With Goers in the box, Teemu Hartikainen picked up a loose puck in the crease and put it in to give the Barons their first lead of the night. Paajarvi and Schultz got the assists. The goal was OKC's third on the power play on the evening.
"Mags went off me and (Hartikainen) put it in and we just had some greasy stuff around the net," Eberle stated.
A penalty to VandeVelde nine minutes into the period gave the Monsters the man advantage and a chance to tie the game and they did just that. Lerg grabbed the puck at the right side of the post and wrapped around the net before backhanding it into the open cage.
Thomas Pock took a penalty in the latter half of the middle frame and the Barons did manage some pressure but Lake Erie held the fort. The Barons were unable to convert again on another man advantage late in the period.
Shots on goal were 23 to 18 for Oklahoma City after 40 minutes.
5:45 into the final frame, Nugent-Hopkins picked up a puck in the slot that Eberle lost control of. RNH quickly rifled it past Pickard to give the Barons a 4-3 lead.
"Any time you go into the third period tied and you find a way to come out with the win, that's a lot of character for our team and a big win for us," Eberle remarked, adding that it was a fortunate bounce.
"I lost the (puck) to Nuge there but when it's clicking, it's clicking. It's good to get some confidence there."
Dane Byers looked to make it a 5-3 game but it was ruled that he kicked the puck in, keeping it a one-goal game.
With eight minutes to go, Tyler Pitlick's shot off the rush went through the legs of Pickard but didn't find its way over the goal line. Shots on goal to this point in the contest were 35 to 22 for the Barons.
With time ticking down on the clock, Danis made a pair of big stops as Lake Erie pressed for the equalizer in the final 10 seconds.