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Barons take 2-0 lead in playoff series

Ryan Keller scores twice as OKC beats Houston 4-1. Game 3 is Sunday at the Cox Center.
By Jeremy Rakes, For The Oklahoman Published: April 20, 2012
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Hackett, who finished with 18 saves, left the game after the play with an injury, skating gingerly to the bench. Mike Brodeur, who made 14 saves, relieved Hackett.

Keller said the Barons tried to dictate the pace of the game from the start.

“Obviously, Game 1 is important, and you want to get that, but by no means are we going to sit back,” Keller said of getting the win. “The momentum of this series is so strange, and it was important for us to come back and try to take the stranglehold of the series.”

Tyler Pitlick scored his second goal of the playoffs at 14:15 in the second, hitting a wrist shot from the right circle into the upper left net over the shoulder of Brodeur to make it 3-0.

The lone negative for the Barons on the night was the end of Danis' shutout streak at 103:48, as Cody Almond scored Houston's first goal of the series at 3:48 of the third period.

Hunter Tremblay, however, ended any hopes of a Houston comeback with a short-handed goal at 13:17 in the third to make it 4-1. Tremblay hesitated on the right circle before wrapping a shot around Brodeur from the left crease.

Despite having a 2-0 lead in the series and defeating Houston nine of ten times this year, both Keller and Nelson said they expected finishing off the Aeros to be a challenge.

“Their backs are against the wall,” Keller said. “The final game in a series to win is the hardest. They are going to be desperate. We need to come out and not look it as we have three chances to do it. We need to finish it off Sunday.”