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Oklahoma City Barons: Win vs. Blackhawks sparked Yann Danis' turnaround

By Mike Baldwin Published: April 18, 2013
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photo - Yann Danis of the Oklahoma City Barons deflects the puck away as Alex Chiasson of the Texas Stars tries to score during an AHL hockey game at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Yann Danis of the Oklahoma City Barons deflects the puck away as Alex Chiasson of the Texas Stars tries to score during an AHL hockey game at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Forward Teemu Hartikainen spent much of the post-lockout in Edmonton but recently returned to Oklahoma City. Hartikainen was with the Barons last season, when Danis helped the Barons reach the Western Conference finals.

“Yann always picks it up when spring is coming because he knows how important this time of year is,” Hartikainen said. “He's a veteran who makes big stops. We know with Yann back there, if we play well, we will always have a chance at a win.”

Danis, 31, has spent the bulk of his career in the minors but has posted 17 NHL wins, the majority (10) coming during the 2008-09 season as the New York Islanders backup.

A hot goaltender can carry a team in the playoffs. Having a veteran like Danis, who has posted 147 career AHL wins, the Barons could make a run when the playoffs start next week. Oklahoma City needs three standings points to clinch a playoff berth — and it's final three games of the regular season are this weekend in the Cox Center.

OKC hosts Abbotsford at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Houston is here at 4 p.m. Sunday.

“Defense wins championships,” Danis said. “It starts on the back end. We know with this team goals will come. We have some momentum. Once you get in the playoffs anything can happen.”