The Barons are still looking for their first win since four young Oilers stars returned to Edmonton after the NHL lockout ended. They should have won Saturday night.
A night after getting embarrassed, the Barons dominated Charlotte only to lose 4-3 in overtime at the Cox Convention Center.
The Barons scored three consecutive second-period goals to take a 3-1 lead but were unable to score an insurance goal or two or protect a late-game lead.
“We played well. Our guys worked hard,” said coach Todd Nelson. “To have it disappear like that late in the third period is difficult.”
Charlotte's A.J. Jenks tied the game 3-3 with 2:28 left on a goal that went through goaltender Yann Danis' legs.
Chris Terry won it for the Checkers with a power-play goal 49 seconds into overtime after Philippe Cornet was whistled for a holding penalty 18 seconds into the extra period.
After losing 7-0 Friday night, the Barons responded with a gritty effort. They dominated much of the game, outshooting the Checkers 35-15 in regulation, including 27-9 the final two periods.
“We just worked harder,” said Toni Rajala, who scored his second goal of the season. “We played pretty well for 57 minutes but then they got a lucky goal.”
Outshooting Charlotte 13-5 in the second period, the Barons scored three consecutive goals to turn a 1-0 first period deficit into a 3-1 lead.
Mark Arcobello started the three-goal barrage when he scored from behind the net 43 seconds into the period. The puck deflected into the net off Charlotte goaltender Justin Peters' back.
“I saw him lean a little bit,” Arcobello said. “I was alone behind the net. It was a little bit of a hope play. I got a little lucky. But it's what I was trying to do.”
The “lucky” goal turned the momentum. OKC possessed the puck in its offensive zone much of the remainder of the game.
The Barons took a 2-1 lead when Cornet scored his first goal of the season on a rebound from Teemu Hartikainen's shot.
“We need to score some dirty goals and get some second and third chances around the net,” Arcobello said. “That's where games are won or lost, in front.”
The Barons' third goal was representative of their solid all-around play.
Defenseman Taylor Fedun, who didn't score a point, got the play started when he dug the puck free from Peters in the crease. Three shots later, Rajala scored.
“We probably should have scored a couple more goals,” Rajala said. “We were pretty strong in front of the net on both ends. We just didn't score enough goals. But we had a lot of chances.”
With young Oilers stars Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returning to Edmonton, the Barons will have to grind more.
“That's going to be the identity of our team now,” said Dane Byers. “Obviously we lost a lot of skill. But we still have some skill. We just have to get greasy and do the little things.”
The Barons did a ton of little things well. It was the type of game they won everywhere but the scoreboard.
“There were a lot of positives,” Nelson said. “We had some good opportunities. This was a step in the right direction. We got a (standings) point but of course we would have liked two. It was a tough break taking a penalty in overtime.”