Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' goal late in the first period of Saturday's 5-2 win over Milwaukee ended a lengthy five-on-five drought for the Barons, who went 353-plus minutes — the equivalent of nearly six games — since their last five-on-five goal, Nov. 3 against Houston.
“Sometimes in the game of hockey things like that happen,” said OKC coach Todd Nelson. “It's hard to explain ... We just had to keep going hard at it. It was a play (Taylor Hall) shot the puck and Nuge got his stick on it, a good hockey play. It was good to get that monkey off our back.”
During the drought, the Barons scored some even-strength, four-on-four goals, including two overtime game-winners.
A two-game weekend series was the first time Oklahoma City and Milwaukee met this season, the only time they'll play in the Cox Center. But the penalty box was busy both games. Three fighting penalties were called in Friday's opener. Saturday's rematch featured four more fights.
“I didn't expect it because they were the least penalized team coming in here,” Nelson said. “It's a funny game. I think their coach wanted to get them fired up and play gritty. Fights do happen, but there were no cheap shots out there. It was just hard nosed hockey.”