The Barons have allowed only one power play goal the past 15 games. Oklahoma City has killed 38 of its last 39 penalties, a sizzling 97.4 penalty kill percentage since Mar. 19.
“Our goaltender (Yann Danis) is our best penalty killer,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “When he's playing well it certainly helps. But our guys have been doing a better job, paying the price, getting down on the ice, getting in shooting lanes.
“That's going well right now, and that has to continue. If we get into the playoffs special teams are huge.”
EMOTIONAL PRE-GAME CEREMONY
Friday was Barons' Military and First Responder Appreciation Night.
An estimated 40 military personnel, dressed in fatigues, held edges of a gigantic American flag that covered nearly two-thirds of the ice during the national anthem and a dedication to Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery, who died in an automobile accident earlier this week.
“That was very moving,” Nelson said. “It was pretty emotional.”
Even though most of the Barons players are from Canada or Europe, Nelson took the team to the Oklahoma City National Memorial last month.
“The guys remember that day we went to the Memorial,” Nelson said. “It was team building away from the rink. But after the guys went through there they realized the pain and suffering people went through in Oklahoma City.”
WEEKEND HOME PLAYOFF GAMES?
If the Barons qualify for the playoffs as a lower seed (fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth) they probably will host Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-5, first-round series next Friday and Saturday (April 26-27). The Barons must first clinch a playoff berth but need only one standings point or a Rockford loss in its finale Saturday night.
OIL SPILLS ...
The Barons have outshot their opponent 12 of the last 13 games, including a 31-24 edge on Friday. ... Veteran defenseman Randy Jones, sidelined a month by a hip flexor, has played the past five games. ... Garrett Stafford, a 33-year-old defenseman acquired in a trade earlier this month, has provided late-season, blueline help, appearing in his seventh game with OKC. ... The Barons will give away a 2013 Cadillac at Saturday's game. The team has given away 13 vehicles this season, one at every Saturday home game. ... Dallas area police and firefighters defeated OKC area officers 3-0 to win the Guns and Hoses trophy Friday afternoon.