The backdrop to the Barons' game Friday night against Abbotsford was how veteran NHL goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov would play while on a conditioning assignment with Oklahoma City before he reports to Edmonton.
Bryzgalov looked rusty in his first game in six months, although it's hard to blame most of the goals in the Barons' 5-4 loss on the 33-year-old Russian goalie. One was a tip-in. A couple of others were backdoor plays.
“I think he is rusty, but that's to be expected,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “We played a pretty strong game. We didn't give up a whole lot (of chances), but they have guys who can capitalize on opportunities.”
The Barons scored three consecutive goals to build a 3-1 lead midway through the second. Led by Ben Street's hat trick, Abbotsford battled back to tie the game.
OKC retook the lead on Ryan Hamilton's first goal of the season late in the second period, but Street scored two goals within 27 seconds with more than 13 minutes remaining to lift the Western Conference's top team to its ninth consecutive win.
“We played pretty well the first half, but you've got to keep it going,” said Barons center Roman Horak. “They have a really good team. In this league if you're up two goals you have to stay tight and play well defensively. We didn't do that.”