Friday, November 19, 2010

Gameday Preview: Stars at Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
8-6-0-0, 16 pts
#6 West Division
atOklahoma City Barons
10-6-1-0, 21 pts
#3 West Division
November 19th at 7:05 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Texas heads to Oklahoma City today for their second crack at the newly minted OKC Barons. The Barons are currently on the 6th game of a season-long eight game home stand that started on November 5th with the Stars' first visit to Cox Convention Center. The Barons are 3-2 on the home stand so far with victories over Texas, Toronto and Chicago but losses to San Antonio and Houston.

Both teams have done a bit of goalie shuffling coming into tonight's game. With Brent Krahn currently on the shelf with an undisclosed injury, Texas recalled Tyler Beskorowany from Idaho yesterday. I would expect Richard Bachman to take 2 of 3 starts this weekend. If Beskorowany does start, it will be his first AHL action. Richard Bachman is 3-2-0 with a 2.43 GAA and .920 SV%. His stats rank him #13 in the league on GAA.

Meanwhile, Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin is on IR which necessitated the callup of Martin Gerber to the Oilers. Gerber has all but one of the Barons' wins this year, going 9-4-0. The only other goaltender with a win for OKC is Bryan Pitton, who was recalled yesterday from the Stockton Thunder. He is 1-1 in the AHL but is a more impressive 4-0-1 in the ECHL with a 1.91 GAA and .922 SV%. Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (often called JDD) is the main netminder for OKC in Gerber's absence. JDD is 0-2-0 with a 4.61 GAA and .836 SV%.

Texas will look to continue their power play success from Tuesday night against the Barons. Texas currently ranks #1 in home PP percentage but dead last on the road, a trend they certainly hope to buck.

As for the Oklahoma City offense, it is quite a potent one. Scorers Linus Omark, Liam Reddox, and Alexandre Giroux lead the Barons up front. Omark recently had a 5-goal game and is always an offensive threat. Stars fans are painfully familiar with the skills of Giroux as well from last year's Finals series.

I wouldn't expect the same offensive production as Tuesday's game from Texas but Coach Gulutzan feels that the confidence gained in that game will help the Stars to succeed in the tighter game. Additionally, the players picked up some good habits through the game that they will want to continue. "If you want to win the tight ones," said Gulutzan, "you have to be the team that's on the puck."

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (undisclosed injury)

Website: okcbarons.com
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey
Blog (unofficial): Oil Field Hockey
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey

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