It's safe to say Linus Omark has snapped out of an early season offensive slump.
Three days after scoring the overtime game-winner, Omark scored four points, including two goals, in the Barons' 4-3 American Hockey League win over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday night at the Cox Convention Center.
Both of Omark's goals were examples of his unique talent.
Less than five minutes into Friday's game, Omark created a scoring chance with nifty skating, then fired a backhander past Abbotsford goalie Reto Berra, who was pulled early in the second period after OKC jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
“He's a great player,” said Oklahoma City's Anton Lander, a fellow Swede who has known Omark since their junior days. “These kind of nights, you can get caught up watching him. You try to get him the puck down low. But tonight, he did it all by himself.”
Omark used a crossover move to flip the puck over Berra's shoulder for a 2-0 OKC lead. The Barons made it 4-0 in the second period. Omark had an assist on OKC's other two goals.
Best known for two YouTube-sensation goals earlier in his career, Omark is back in Oklahoma City a year after becoming the first Swede to win the scoring title in Switzerland's pro league.
“Our line has had to get a little chemistry,” said Tyler Pitlick, who had two assists. “Linus does a lot of things other players normally don't because he's so good. You have to kind of learn off that.”
In addition to playing in 46 games with the Barons their first two seasons, Omark played in 65 games with Edmonton. He was hoping to make the Oilers out of training camp, but was cut, cleared waivers and is back in OKC.
“I just have to play my game,” Omark said. “Hopefully, I can continue to get shots, and hopefully goals. I like playing here, but my goal is to play in the NHL. Right now, I'm focused on helping this team get points (wins), and I'm hoping they'll give me a chance.”
The Barons built a seemingly safe 4-0 lead less than five minutes into the second period, but Abbotsford battled back to within 4-3 with more than 12 minutes left.
“It was just us being too casual with the puck, losing puck battles, getting outworked,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “The guys go through defining moments throughout the season that shape your team. This will be a learning experience.”
The Heat's first goal came midway the second period. OKC still led 4-1 heading into the third period, but the Heat got a goal from Roman Horak 42 seconds into the third period and Brett Olson scored with 12:24 left.
“I think we laid back a little,” Pitlick said. “You can never do that. When you're beating a team like that you have to keep scoring.”
Outshooting Oklahoma City 22-4 in the third period, Abbotsford charged back, but goalie Richard Bachman recorded 41 saves to help the Barons win their third consecutive game after starting the season 0-3-0.
“Richard made some really big saves for us,” Nelson said. “There was one deflection from the point in the third period that could have gone top shelf. It was an outstanding save. That was just one of them. He got the job done for us when we were just hanging on.”
The Barons and Heat play again at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Center.