“We're playing with a lot of character,” said goaltender Yann Danis. “Even when we've gotten behind early, we've battled back. We're finding ways to win. We're taking the challenge and rolling with it.”
Danis has played a key role in OKC making a late-season charge. Since he returned from Edmonton after spending nearly two months with the Oilers after the NHL lockout ended, Danis is 6-1-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.
The first two games of the road trip have added significance. Houston and Rochester (where the Barons play Friday night) are tied for fifth with 82 points, two points in front of Oklahoma City. The Barons currently have a three-point cushion over ninth-place Chicago.
“We have a little breathing room but it's going to be a fight to the end,” Danis said. “We need to keep winning. Every game is going to be big.”
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BARONS at HOUSTON
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Toyota Center, Houston
Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1, Jim Byers play-by-play.
Scouting report: The Aeros have won eight of 10 meetings, but three of Houston's wins have been in shootouts. All but one of OKC's eight losses in the series essentially has been by one goal if you exclude last-minute empty-netters. ... Since he was reassigned to Oklahoma City, Barons forward Teemu Hartikainen has scored eight points in seven games, including three points in Sunday's win over Chicago. ... Houston goaltender Matt Hackett is 6-1 against the Barons but has only a 2.68 goals-against average. The key has been Houston's offense. Justin Fontaine has scored 10 points and Brian Connelly nine against OKC. Mikael Granlund also has scored nine points against the Barons but currently is with the Minnesota Wild, Houston's NHL affiliate.