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Ilya Bryzgalov looks rusty in OKC Barons' loss to Abbotsford

by Michael Baldwin Published: November 15, 2013

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.”

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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