Despite a 2-1 loss to the Texas Stars, the Barons still control their playoff destiny.
If Oklahoma City secures at least three standings points (one win and one non-regulation loss) in two home games Friday and Saturday against the Iowa Wild, the Barons will qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
With two games left in the regular season, the Barons (79 points) currently own the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Charlotte (77) and Rockford (77) also have two games scheduled this weekend, including a head-to-head meeting in a regular-season finale Saturday night in Rockford.
In a season in which the Barons have undergone 152 total transactions, the latest moves should boost the playoff roster if they get in.
Last weekend after the NHL regular season ended, Edmonton, the Barons’parent team, reassigned team captain Anton Lander in addition to Will Acton, Tyler Pitlick, Steve Pinizzotto and Oscar Kelfbom to Oklahoma City after the NHL regular season ended last weekend. All would be eligible for the playoffs.
Due to late-season roster changes, coach Todd Nelson has tried to find good line combinations.
The top line featured team scoring leader Roman Horak, Lander and Pitlick. The No. 2 line matched Curtis Hamilton, Jack Combs and Acton.
The third line included: C.J. Stretch, Andrew Miller and Austin Fyten. The fourth line was veteran Matthew Ford and 23-year-old twins Connor and Kellen Jones, who recently completed their college careers.
“We’re probably going to have to make some changes,” Nelson said. “After a game like that you can’t really keep things status quo. We’ll have to make necessary changes and hopefully it will improve our club.”
NURSE MAKES OKC DEBUT
Defenseman Darnell Nurse, the Edmonton Oilers’ No. 1 pick last season, the No. 7 overall selection, made his home debut Wednesday night.
Nurse, 19, has spent the past three seasons with Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League. After scoring 50 points in his final junior season, Nurse logged one assist in his Barons debut, two road games last weekend in Abbotsford.
Steve Pinizzotto scored the Barons lone goal but was given a game misconduct in the third period for abuse of officials...If the Barons advance to the playoffs they would host Games 1 & 2 next week in a best-of-5 series that would continue the following week with Games 3, 4 & 5 (if necessary) in Texas.