Taylor Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, will return to Edmonton on Monday to have his surgically repaired shoulder examined. After going through contact in practices last week, Hall hopes to be cleared to make his Barons debut Friday or Saturday during a two-game home series with Houston at the Cox Center.
“It's been so long since I've played in a game,” Hall said. “It's going to be a little bit different, to adjust to the play down here. It will be a little of a culture shock. But I'm excited just to get back playing. The shoulder has held up really well and feels strong.”
SCHULTZ LEADS AHL IN SCORING
Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz not only leads the Barons in scoring, he's atop the American Hockey League points list after he scored two power-play goals in a 4-2 win Sunday over the Texas Stars. In seven games, Schultz has 12 points, including six goals.
“I'm a little surprised,” Schultz said. “It's definitely been a good start for me. And the team is coming together now. It's going well so far.”
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY WELL
The Barons scored two power play goals and killed off two Texas Stars man-advantage situations early in the third period on Sunday afternoon.
“That was a big confidence boost for our guys with the penalty kill,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “In was a good game in that respect that our special teams got the job done.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, playing with a full face mask after getting hit in the mouth in Friday's game, recorded two assists. ... Backup goaltender Olivier Roy improved to 2-1, making 27 saves. ... For the second straight game the Barons were outshot, this time 29-19. The Stars outshot OKC 14-2 in the third period but couldn't score. “With a two-goal lead, we have enough to win. We need to keep things simple instead of forcing pucks to the middle,” Nelson said.