“(Arcobello) has been good for us all year, and I think in the playoffs, his line has played very well,” Nelson said. “He scored the big power-play goal for us, and he's been pretty solid. I think as long as we keep getting efforts from Mark like that, we will continue to have success with that line.”
Nelson said the team play became weaker as the game progressed, and the defensive intensity would need to pick up for Game 2. The Barons were clearly more aggressive through the first two periods of Thursday's contest, but San Antonio still cashed as Oklahoma City sometimes struggled to get back on defense after offensive flurries.
“We came out pretty good offensively in the first, they answered back in the second, and the third period was anyone's game,” Arcobello said. “We just gave them too many chances.”
Nelson said an eight-day layoff contributed to his team being a bit rusty, but he would not use that as an excuse for the Barons' defensive struggles. Oklahoma City was one of the AHL's top defensive teams during the regular season.
“San Antonio had a layoff too,” Nelson said of the Rampage, which beat the Chicago Wolves in five games of a first-round series. “It wasn't quite as long, but the thing is that they're playing good hockey right now.”
Jon Matsumoto and Mark Cullen had a goal and assist each for San Antonio.