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Oklahoma City Barons: Texas blanks Barons' high-powered offense

Swedish goaltender Christopher Nilstrop has four shutouts this season, a meager 1.94 goals against average. Texas and Oklahoma City play again at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Center.
By Mike Baldwin Published: December 21, 2012

Team officials announced before the game they would unveil a new yacht horn that blares 80 decibels the first time the Barons scored a goal.

Fans will have to wait until Saturday's game to hear the new celebration after Texas Stars goaltender Christopher Nilstorp blanked the Barons 3-0 Friday night in an American Hockey League game at the Cox Convention Center.

“I'd like to think we have good enough firepower that we could score on anyone,” said forward Jordan Eberle, tied with teammate Justin Schultz for the league scoring lead. “But give them credit. They do a good job of keeping shots outside and making you score from there.”

Texas' defense has allowed the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference. In Friday's win, the Stars played their game, blocking shots and forcing action to the side boards.

“We missed a lot of shots,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “The shots we get on net, we're trying to get rebounds. But we hit the goalie in the stomach. That tells me he's playing his angles correctly, but you have to be better in those situations. We have to get shots off his pads to create rebounds.”

Nilstrop, a 28-year-old goalie from Sweden, is making his North American debut after spending a decade in his home country. The AHL rookie has posted four shutouts. He's among the league leaders in goals against average (1.94). But it wasn't as if Nilstrop stood on his head.

“It was a pretty ugly game,” Nelson said. “From the minute they dropped the puck I don't think we were ready to go. Texas is playing good hockey right now. They played a very strong game. They didn't give us much.”

It was the third time this season the Barons' high-powered offense has been shut out but the first time at home.

Texas outshot Oklahoma City 26-21. More revealing was the Stars outshot the Barons 21-12 the first two periods.

“The first two periods, we didn't win many battles,” Eberle said. “We got out battled and outshot and couldn't execute on the power play.”

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