“This is my 10th year playing professionally,” said defenseman Garrett Stafford. “I can honestly say I have never been on a team with this much talent up front. This is the best scoring team I've ever been on.”
Offense is essential. But the primary reason the Barons have a viable shot to win this series, and reach the Calder Cup finals, is Yann Danis. The 31-year-old veteran goaltender has been a wall between the pipes.
Since returning from Edmonton in mid-March, playing nearly every game the final month of the regular season and all dozen playoff games, Danis is 18-6-3 with a 1.95 goals against average and .929 saves percentage the past two months.
“He's been excellent, very consistent,” Nelson said. “Every once in a while there's been a blemish but he's playing with a lot of confidence. When your goalie plays like he's playing it gives the entire team confidence.”
The Barons kept a four-month streak alive Saturday night. Oklahoma City hasn't lost back-to-back games in regulation since mid-January.
“It's been a lot of fun,” said veteran Jonathan Cheechoo, who has eight playoff points. “It's always more fun when you're winning. We have a wave of momentum. Hopefully that bodes well for us heading forward. If we keep playing the way we've been playing we'll have a pretty good shot.”
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(OKC Barons vs. Grand Rapids Griffins)
(series tied 1-1)
Game 1 — Grand Rapids 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 2 — Oklahoma City 4, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 — Wednesday: Cox Convention Center, 7 p.m.
Game 4 — Friday: Cox Convention Center, 7 p.m.
Game 5 — Saturday: Cox Convention Center, 7 p.m.
Game 6 — x-June 4: at Grand Rapids, 6 p.m.
Game 7 — x-June 5: at Grand Rapids, 6 p.m.