PREVIEW: Barons at Milwaukee
Barons continue set of three games in three days in Milwaukee
|ONLINE TV: AHL Live (PPV)
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PUCK DROP: 6:00 p.m. MST
LAST 10: Oklahoma City 6-3-0-1; Milwaukee 6-4-0-0
Season Series: Tonight is the third of four meetings this season between Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. The Barons won each of the previous two meetings, both at the Cox Convention Center. On November 16, Mark Arcobello scored in overtime to win it and the very next night, the Barons defeated the Admirals 5-2.
Big Story: The Barons are looking to get back on track after a pair of losses in regulation. They are currently in seventh in the Western Conference but could jump as high as fourth with a win. 11th place Milwaukee has 35 points and could move into a tie with Rochester for the eighth and final playoff spot with a victory.
Barons: OKC is No. 1 in overall power play percentage at 25.7, with 37 goals in 144 opportunities. The Barons are 5-for-9 on the power play in their last 3 games and have a man advantage goal in 6 straight, during which they’re 10-for-26. Taylor Hall is tied for the AHL lead in power play goals with 8.
Admirals: Milwaukee has played some of their best hockey of the season lately. They have won four of their last five games to move within a stone's throw of the playoff picture with their last time out being a 4-3 win over Chicago on January 3. Taylor Beck is the Ads' leading scorer with 22 points (17 assists) in 26 games. The team's leading goal scorers are Austin Watson and Chris Mueller with 12 goals apiece in 32 games.
Who's Hot: Defenseman Justin Schultz leads the AHL in assists (28) and power play points (23), while second overall in points (46). Schultz, the CCM/AHL Player of the Month for October and Rookie of the Month in November, has multiple points in 16 of 33 games, including 10 games with 2 assists. Schultz is third in the league in goals (18), 2 away from tying the rookie goal scoring record for defensemen (20), set by John Slaney of Baltimore in 1992-93. Schultz, held pointless on Tuesday at Houston, has been kept off the scoresheet in just 5 of 33 games and in 3 of those the Barons were shut out.
Injury Report: Antti Tyrvainen (wrist) is out. Dan Ringwald (arm) is out. Kristians Pelss (suspension) is out. Brandon Davidson (cancer treatment) is out. Chris VandeVelde (suspension) is available to return to the lineup. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is in Ufa, Russia for the World Junior Tournament.
Puck Drop: The Barons have out-scored the opposition in the first period 44-23, totaling the most first-period goals in the AHL. OKC has gone 7 games without allowing a goal in the opening period. Their last first-period goal against came on Dec. 16 at Houston. The Barons have had a lead or tie at the first intermission in 17 straight games, during which they are 8-7-0-2. 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.