PREVIEW: Barons at San Antonio
Barons hit the road for their third game in three days
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PUCK DROP: 3:35 p.m. MST
LAST 10: San Antonio 3-4-0-1; Oklahoma City 5-3-0-1
Season Series: In their only meeting so far this season, the Barons handily defeated San Antonio 5-2. ... Last season, the Barons had some troubles with San Antonio as the two sides split their eight-game series with four regulation wins apiece. The season series was a defensive struggle for the most part, featuring six games where a team scored one goal or less, four shutouts and three 1-0 games. OKC won the second-round playoff meeting between the two sides four games to one though they did have to score three overtime winners to pull it out.
Big Story: Taylor Hall and Martin Marincin return to the lineup tonight after not playing on Saturday. Originally, it looked like Hall would be suspended after his hit on Jonas Brodin resulted in a match penalty and game misconduct Friday but the AHL rescinded the call after ruling it was actually shoulder-to-shoulder. However, the plan all along was for Hall to play Friday and Sunday and avoid back-to-back. Marincin skated on Saturday morning but was held out for precautionary reasons.
Rampage: The Rampage leading scorer is Drew Shore, with two goals and six points. Oklahoma City has five players with more points than Shore. ... San Antonio is coming off a win in their last game, 3-2 at home over Grand Rapids on Friday night. Previous to that, they had lost three in a row. In the lone meeting between the two sides so far this season, the Barons outshot the Rampage 34 to 16 and outscored them 5-2. ... San Antonio's power play is ranked 23rd in the AHL at 12.5%. Their penalty kill is outstanding, however, ranked third in the league at 92.7%. ... The Rampage also have trouble scoring even strength, ranking 27th in the league at 2.13 goals per game. ... San Antonio allows a league-low 23.4 shots against per game.
Barons: It will be interesting to see how the Barons respond after the past two games against Houston. In each game, the Barons had a 3-0 lead in the third period and let it slip away. On Friday, they got away with it but on Saturday OKC couldn't get the go-ahead marker and ended up falling in a shootout.
"We let the big one get away," said Barons head coach Todd Nelson. "I thought (five) minutes of the game we had brain cramps. They ended up capitalizing, but other than that I was happy with our battle tonight. I was happy with our D-zone and our overall game up until those five minutes. We're going to have to learn from that. We can't be giving up leads in the third. I think the last two years we lost maybe two games in the third period. This team is a bit different so we're going to have to figure out a way to deal with the pressure and stick with the game plan."
Injury Report: Josh Green (ribs) is out. Ryan Martindale (undisclosed) is questionable. Anton Lander (illness) is doubtful. Brandon Davidson (illness) is out. Martin Marincin is probable.
Puck Drop: Nelson stressed following Saturday's game that the team needed to move on quickly. The Barons boarded a bus for San Antonio (750 kilometres) immediately after the game.
"It doesn't matter if we win the game or lose the game. Take five minutes with it, think about it then cut it loose. We have to play right away again. Hopefully they take it to heart. Three in three nights, they play them in junior," Nelson began. "We're a bit banged up tonight so we might see a lineup similar to tonight, along with Hall in it. We'll add Hall and Marty Marincin and just go from there."
- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com