The Oklahoma City Barons ended an 0-for-16 power play slump on Dane Byers' third-period goal Friday night in a 3-2 loss to Houston. Byers poked the puck in during a melee in front of the net.
“Our second unit just willed the puck in,” said coach Todd Nelson. “Sometimes when you're going through a tough time on the power play, getting a goal like that may spark us.”
The Barons have had a tough time. They're 9.1 percent on the power play over their past 14 games, going 5-for-55 with the man advantage.
In Friday's game, Nelson went with five forwards on the first power play unit.
“That unit had some really good looks,” Nelson said. “We just didn't finish. (Mark) Arcobello had a really good chance in the first period. (Darcy) Kuepmer made a great save on him.”
AEROS WIN FACEOFF BATTLES
Nelson said one of the subtle keys to Houston's win was the Aeros won the majority of faceoffs.
“I think only one of our centers did well in the faceoff dot,” Nelson said. “Those are little things where we need to win those battles to have success. Tonight we didn't do that and they got the win.”
HORDICHUK HAS FIRST BARONS FIGHT
Darcy Hordichuk, a 32-year-old veteran left winger, has been involved in 285 fights during a 12-year NHL career, accumulating 1,140 penalty minutes.
Assigned to Oklahoma City a month ago, Hordichuk was involved in his first Barons fight Friday night. It was the first time Hordichuk has visited the penalty box in 11 games with the Barons. Hordichuk also was whistled for hooking late in the first period.
Goaltender Yann Danis made his second consecutive start in net for the Barons after spending most of the past two months with Edmonton. Danis recorded 24 saves. ... Aaron Bell, a hockey fan from Flagstaff, Ariz., has created an oddball “Chee-choo train” video promoting Barons veteran forward Jonathan Cheechoo that was shown on the video board before Friday's game. Bell created similar videos when Cheechoo played for San Jose and Ottawa in the NHL and Peoria in the AHL.