After a 3-2 loss to Charlotte on Saturday night, the Barons now trail 2-1 in the season series with the Checkers. The two Western Conference foes are scheduled to meet five more times this season.
So far, the first three games have all had two things in common — each game was physical. And each game was decided by a goal.
Barons coach Todd Nelson didn't rule out the possibility of his team developing a rivalry with the Checkers.
“Maybe a bit,” Nelson said. “Every game's been separated by one goal. We've played them three times here at home early on, and I think in our next matchup we'll see them in Charlotte just before Christmas time. I think more or less the Texas teams are more (natural rivals). But anytime you play teams in back-to-back games, guys go out there and work hard and things happen.”
Mark Arcobello credited the Checkers for being a good team that has played the Barons hard in each game this year.
“Hopefully it can stay the same way and we have a good little rivalry and build off of it,” Arcobello said.
LOOKING TO CAPITALIZE ON THE POWER PLAY
After watching his team go 0-for-3 on the power play Saturday, Nelson said it's time the Barons get it in gear in that department.
“The bottom line is we have to get our power play going. We haven't scored in three games on the power play,” Nelson said. “If we can get one goal a game on the power play, which is not abnormal; if we did that tonight, maybe it gets us a point. So we have to get that going. I think we're getting good looks, but we're not shooting the puck enough.
The Barons finished with just one penalty Saturday, a roughing penalty against Teemu Hartikainen in the second period.
“It was kind of weird,” Nelson said. “Usually, we're killing off two or three in the first 10 minutes. But our guys did a pretty good job of being disciplined.
Oklahoma City will complete its first set of three games in three nights with a road game tonight at Milwaukee.
It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The Barons split last year's six-game series with the Admirals, who enter Sunday's game 7-2-0-1.
“Milwaukee always has a good team, and they got a new coach,” Nelson said. “They're going to be good. It's going to be a tough game there. The positive side is last year we did pretty well against Milwaukee…But we're going to have to be ready. It's going to be a very stingy team we're playing.”