CEDAR PARK, Texas — Anton Lander scored just 1:28 into overtime Thursday night, and the Oklahoma City Barons opened the American Hockey League Western Conference semifinals with a 2-1 victory over the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center. Oklahoma City took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in Texas.
Lander tipped a shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp as Oklahoma City took home ice advantage away from the Stars.
“Things happen so fast in overtime, you can't take a breath,” Oklahoma City coach Todd Nelson said.
Nelson told the Barons between the third period and the start of OT “to just focus on the first five minutes and don't take anything for granted ... just go out there and just be ready.”
Lander was assisted by Toni Rajala and Teemu Hartikainen. Rajala fed the puck to Lander.
“Toni is a really skilled guy, and I just tried to get in front of the net and hope for pass,” Lander said.
Oklahoma City led 1-0 in the first period on Mark Arcobello's fourth goal of the playoffs. Philippe Cornet found a streaking Arcobello, who buried a one-timer past Nilstorp.
Texas, which won the Southern Division championship, finally cracked Barons goaltender Yann Danis. Francis Wathier blasted home his first goal of the postseason after taking a pass from Jordie Benn.
“The goal I really didn't see. It really was a lucky bounce as it hit the post then my skate and went in,” Danis said. “Goals are going to happen, and you're not going to have a shutout every night, so you move on and focus on the next one.”
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