PREVIEW: Barons vs. Texas
Barons wrap up 2012 calendar year with a game against the Texas Stars
|ONLINE TV: AHL Live (PPV)
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PUCK DROP: 5:00 p.m. MST
LAST 10: Oklahoma City 5-4-0-1; Texas 5-2-2-1
Season Series: Tonight is the sixth of 12 meetings this season between Oklahoma City and Texas. OKC has won four of the previous five. This is the fourth time the Barons have faced Texas in their last five games.
Big Story: The Barons and Stars come into this game separated by one point in the standings. Texas is tied with Houston for second in the South Division and fourth in the Western Conference at 37 points. OKC has 36 points and is tied with Rockford for seventh as the conference is tightening up.
Barons: The Barons have won each of their last three games, including two in regulation against Texas. In their most recent outing, OKC defeated San Antonio 3-2 in a shootout. Overall, the Barons have picked up at least a point in six of their last seven games (5-1-0-1).
Stars: Texas got off to a bit of a rocky start this season but since about mid-November they have been among the top teams in the AHL. Texas won their first two games of the year but then lost seven of eight after that. Since that time, they have gone 13-4-3-1. The Stars have only four regulation losses during that stretch but three of those have come against Oklahoma City.
Who's Hot: 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).
Injury Report: Antti Tyrvainen (wrist) is out. Dan Ringwald (arm) is out. Kristians Pelss (suspension) is out. Brandon Davidson (cancer treatment) is out. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is at camp for Team Canada's World Junior squad.
Puck Drop: 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.
- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com, with files from Jim Byers.