Oklahoma City Barons: Coach Todd Nelson changes lines to spark offense

All-Star Phillipe Cornet is paired with Teemu Hartikainen and Josh Green. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall put on separate lines.
By Mike Baldwin Frustrated that most of the scoring this season has come from the No. 1 line, Oklahoma City Barons coach Todd Nelson has switched up his forward matchups heading into a three-game weekend against San Antonio and Houston. Published: December 12, 2012
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“We had to do something, so we changed up all four lines,” Nelson said. “We also swapped some partners out on defense. It happens every year over the course of a season when your scoring goes stale, if you're not winning.”

The Barons have lost five consecutive games, all essentially one-goal losses. A 4-2 loss Tuesday night to a sub-. 500 Peoria club sparked Nelson's decision. Both of Oklahoma City's goals were on the power play.

Forward lines for Friday's 7 p.m. game against San Antonio in the Cox Center will be:

Mark Arcobello, Curtis Hamilton, Jordan Eberle.

Taylor Hall, Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi.

Teemu Hartikainen, Josh Green, Phillipe Cornet.

Tyler Pitlick, Dane Byers, Chris VandeVelde.

“The way the lines are set up now, we have at least one or two guys responsible for being a bit more creative,” Nelson said. “Sometimes it's a breath of fresh air for guys to get away from guys they've been playing with. And it doesn't mean they can't be reunited sometime in the future.

“It's a fresh start. Sometimes you need to shuffle the deck a bit.”

The Barons (11-9-3) host San Antonio on Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Convention Center, then travel to Houston on Sunday.

ABNEY SENT TO STOCKTON

Forward Cameron Abney was sent back to Double-A Stockton on Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has split time this season between Oklahoma City and Stockton, which are both Edmonton Oiler farm teams. The third-round draft pick has 14 penalty minutes in four games with the Barons.



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