By the numbers:
- Tonight is the sixth of eight meetings against Oklahoma City, and the last road game this year. The Checkers, who are in second place in the Western conference, lead the series with the Barons 3-1-1.
- Oklahoma City and Charlotte have each played 46 games this season, however the Barons have 65 points to the Checkers’s 56.
- The Barons, who lead the AHL in the standings, are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak. The silver lining for the Checkers is that Charlotte is the only team to have a winning record against the Barons.
- John Muse will start his fourth consecutive game tonight, and his first against Oklahoma City. Mike Murphy remains sidelined from a lower body injury sustained in pre-game warmups against Norfolk last week.
- Special Teams: Charlotte’s number-two-ranked power play (meaning it really is in second place, and not crappy “number two”) will face the first-place penalty kill of Oklahoma City tonight. Charlotte’s PK is respectably in the top ten, in ninth.
Players to watch:
- Since returning from injury, Bobby Sanguinetti is on a major point streak. In the past eight games, he’s had at least a point a game, totaling four goals and eight assists. In his five games against Oklahoma City, he leads the Checkers with four assists.
- Chris Terry, who was the leading scorer on the Western Conference All Star team last weekend, is on a point streak as well. Over the past eight games, he’s scored 15 points (4G, 11A).
- Despite having a losing record against Charlotte (1-2-0), goaltender Yann Danis has phenomenal numbers. He has a 1.69 GAA in three games, and a 0.949 SV%. Danis returned from the All Star game with a perfect record during his period of play. His season statics find him near the top of all of the “best of” goalie stats, including the goalie with the most wins (19) this season.
- Goaltender David LeNeveu is 1-0-1 against Charlotte, and is the other half of one of, if not the strongest goaltending tandems in the AHL. He has a 2.00 GAA and 0.925 SV%. LeNeveu and Danis have been splitting time equally in the goal crease.
- Despite not registering a point against Charlotte in five games played, Ryan Keller leads the team in points with 36 (16G, 20A) and is a +18. He’s one of only a few players who has played almost every one of the Barons games this year. The Edmonton Oilers have a young team and has had a plethora of AHL recalls over the course of the season, leaving a revolving roster in Oklahoma City.
Gametime: 8:00 p.m. EST
Charlotte Radio: WFNZ 610
Oklahoma City Blogs: A New Ice Age
Referees: Nick Krebsbach (#35), Graham Skilliter (#48)
Linesmen: Randy Sappo (#78), Kyle DeMaggio (#97)
Let’s Go Checkers!