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Oklahoma City Barons: Line changes help Barons snap 5-game skid

Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle help give OKC big lead in first period. Barons and San Antonio play again at 7 p.m. Saturday in Cox Center.
By Mike Baldwin Published: December 14, 2012

Barons coach Todd Nelson changing up the lines paid huge benefits the first game.

Three of the Barons' four lines found the net in a 5-1 American Hockey League win over San Antonio on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.

Scoring three first-period goals, the Barons coasted to a win to end a five-game losing streak.

“We have firepower throughout our lineup,” said Jordan Eberle, who had a goal and an assist. “Any good team has depth. We definitely have that in our lineup. It's just a matter of it showing up every night.”

Outshooting the Rampage 17-8 in the first period, 35-26 for the game, the Barons peppered San Antonio goaltender Jacob Markstrom, the reigning AHL Player of the Week. Markstrom was pulled after two periods with OKC leading 4-1.

“I thought we were better all the way around,” Nelson said. “Sometimes when you change lines it gives you a fresh look. It paid off tonight.”

Taylor Hall and Eberle, two young stars who have played the past two seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, used some nifty stick work to give the Barons a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.

Eberle intercepted a pass from Rampage defenseman Michael Caruso to skate in uncontested to give the Barons a 1-0 lead. It was Eberle's 15th goal of the season which ties him with Syracuse's Tyler Johnson for the AHL lead.

“When Jordan scored that goal our whole bench lifted up,” Nelson said. “It was like, ‘OK, now we're off to the races.'”

Less than two minutes later, Hall charged out of the far corner with the puck and skated in uncontested for a 2-0 lead.

The third first-period goal for a 3-0 lead was scored by defenseman Colten Teubert. Markstrom was unaware the puck was sitting on the goal line. Teubert fought through traffic to poke in his second goal of the season.

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