Oklahoma City is tied atop the AHL West Division standings, but there would be no tie if the Barons weren't suffering a power shortage on power plays.
In a battle for first place Saturday night inside the Cox Convention Center, OKC dropped a 4-2 decision to Abbotsford before a crowd of 3,329.
It was the first time in four games this season the Heat has beaten the Barons. OKC handed Abbotsford a 4-1 loss the previous night inside the Cox Center.
With the two-game split, the Barons (12-5-0-1) and Heat (12-5-1-0) remain tied atop the division with 25 points each
Afterward, as he frequently has done this season, OKC coach Todd Nelson shared his frustration concerning special teams play.
"Our power play was non-existent," Nelson said. "Our PK (penalty kill) was pretty decent, but they got a power-play goal. That's the difference in the game. We talked about it before the game and I thought it was a really lackluster effort from the guys on the power play, and that's disappointing."
The Barons were 0 for 2 on power play opportunities and are now 15 for 82 (.183) on the season, which ranks 17th our of 30 AHL teams.
After playing six games in an eight-day span, OKC doesn't play again until Friday at Grand Rapids and there could be some changes in store.
Asked how a team corrects a power-play problem, Nelson answered succinctly.
"Work ethic," he said. "Guys are either going to work hard on it, or I'll find somebody else who does. Quite honestly, I told (Tanner) House's line to get ready to go because they deserve the opportunity.
"It's not a God-given right to play the power play. It's a privilege, and that's what guys have to understand. Power play is your best chance to score a goal. You should be hungry. You should be aggressive. We passed the puck around. I don't even think we got a shot and that's disappointing."
The Barons never led Saturday.
OKC goaltender Yann Danis turned away the first 17 shots, but the Heat scored two goals in a span of 79 seconds in the second period.
By that time, Abbotsford had outshot the Barons 21-7.
"They were throwing everything at the net, crashing the net, and it paid off for them for two goals," said Danis, now 8-4 on the season.
OKC's Hunter Tremblay stopped the bleeding just 85 seconds later with a breakaway shorthanded goal to pull the Barons to within 2-1.
Chris VandeVelde tied the score at 2 with just 1:29 left in the second period on a put-back after rebounding Gilbert Brule's shot out front.
Nelson said he thought his team had weathered the storm and was ready to take control.
"I did. We had momentum," Nelson said. "It's too bad the period had to end."
Abbotsford took a 3-2 lead 3:25 into the third period and set the final margin with an empty net goal with 33.7 seconds left.
John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. Follow him on Twitter @RohdeOK.