Defensive lapses led to a pair of goals 3:24 apart late in the third period Saturday night, and San Antonio defeated Oklahoma City 4-3 in an American Hockey League game before 4,859 fans at the Cox Center. Scott Timmins and David Marshall slipped past Barons defenders and fired shots over goaltender David LeNeveu.
The goals gave San Antonio a 4-2 lead, but the Barons drew within one with 2:57 remaining in the 2011 portion of this season on Hunter Tremblay's sixth goal. LeNeveu left the ice for an extra attacker with 1:11 left in the game, but Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom made two big-time stops to help San Antonio even its record at 15-15-2-0.
The Barons, who remain in first place in the West Division, fell to 21-8-1-3. Oklahoma City lost its first game in regulation since Dec. 13, 3-2 to the Texas Stars in the Cox Center. The Barons, who also had goals from Josh Green and Antti Tyrvainen, played their 23rd one-goal contest through 33 games. Oklahoma City is 13-6-1-3 in those.
BITS AND PIECES
*The Edmonton Oilers' No. 1 draft choice in 2009, winger Magnus Paajarvi, has four assists in six games since being sent to Oklahoma City for ice time. Paajarvi, who has wowed Oklahoma City crowds with two classic-move shootout goals, is enjoying the playing time.
“I really need that right now to really get my confidence back,” Paajarvi said. “Getting (scratched from Edmonton games) and not playing a lot of minutes ... it's a lot higher now for sure. I'm playing a lot more here, and I feel like I have a lot more responsibility.”
*Barons forward Tristan Grant, previously listed as day-to-day after taking a puck to the face Wednesday night vs. Rochester, played briefly Saturday night against San Antonio. He had a full-face cage attached to his helmet. Though Grant might not brawl like he's been known to do, the injury did not keep him from a crowd-pleasing hard check he delivered to the Rampage's Mike Vernace early in the first period. Grant was also positioned down low in the slot, a volatile area in front of the opposing goaltender. But he was later sent to the dressing room with what appeared as a leg injury.
*Philippe Cornet, who has been hampered recently with an undisclosed injury, was a scratch vs. the Rampage. The Barons' leading goal scorer (15) had played the two previous games against Rochester. ... Cornet's regular linemate, Teemu Hartikainen was popped in the mouth area by the puck in the first period Saturday, but he continued to play out his shift and the game.
*The Barons' Tanner House failed to score on a first-period penalty shot. Oklahoma City is 0 for 5 on penalty shots in its two-year history in the American Hockey League. ... The Edmonton Oilers sent defenseman Colten Teubert back to Oklahoma City on Saturday. He did not arrive in time to play vs. San Antonio.
*No coincidence. The Rampage, which wears silver and black uniforms, is owned by the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. The Rampage jerseys have a Spurs logo on the shoulder.
The Barons begin a four-game road swing, beginning at 5:05 p.m. Sunday at Houston. The Barons return to the Cox Center on Friday, Jan. 13, against Rockford.