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.”
WOMAN WINS A CAR
Crystal VanZant won a GMC Acadia at Saturday's game. One of 20 finalists, VanZant won the SUV by having her two “bingo” numbers drawn from a bucket.
It's the fourth vehicle the Barons have given away this season. They're giving away a vehicle at every Saturday home game. The next giveaway is a 2012 Jeep Wrangler on Dec. 15 against San Antonio.
After absorbing a couple of hard hits, Barons forward Tyler Pitlick did not play in the second and third periods. ... Milwaukee right winger Taylor Beck, who was immobilized following a violent crash into the boards late in Friday night's game, was released from the hospital. Beck suffered a concussion and severe cut above his eye. Beck attended the morning skate but didn't suit up for Saturday's game. ... There was a $5,000 winner in the chuck-a-puck contest held at every home game. Fans throw plastic pucks at the ice. The big money winner bounced an orange puck into a small bucket at center ice.