Friday, January 24, 2014

Game 41 preview: Oklahoma City Barons at Charlotte Checkers

Good afternoon, tonight is "Race Night" at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Checkers will be looking to close out their two-game series with the Barons by picking up their sixth win against their West Division foe this season.

The Checkers defeated the Barons, 4-0, on Thursday on the strength of John Muse's third shutout of the season and two goals from Justin Shugg. Charlotte, who has won eight of its last 11 now sits a game above .500 after being seven games below that mark (8-14-1) as recently as Dec. 7.

Puck Drop: 7 p.m. ET

TV/Radio info: Video AHL Live / Audio 730 AM Charlotte

Records: Checkers 20-19-1, Barons 16-21-6

Projected Checkers lineup: 

Chris Terry-Brett Sutter-Zach Boychuk
Greg Nemisz-Brody Sutter-Aaron Palushaj
Philippe Cornet-Victor Rask-Justin Shugg
Matt Marquardt-A.J. Jenks-Matthew Pistilli

Michal Jordan-Danny Biega
Rasmus Rissanen-Ryan Murphy
Mark Flood-Matt Corrente

John Muse
Mike Murphy

Healthy scratch: Beau Schmitz, Keegan Lowe

Injured: Brendan Woods (out since Jan. 17 with lower body injury), Sean Dolan (out since Dec. 1 with an upper body injury), Nicolas Blanchard (Out since Jan. 17 with upper body injury), Jared Staal (out since Jan. 3 with unspecified injury).

* All four players participated in the non-contact portion of Wednesday's practice.

Storylines: Based on reports from the morning skate, it looks like Ryan Murphy -- who was assigned to Charlotte by the Hurricanes this morning -- will play tonight. ... Time Warner Cable Arena is expected to be sold out. ... John Muse is one win away from tying Justin Peters for second all-time in wins as a Checkers goalie. ... Aaron Palushaj and Greg Nemisz each are in the middle of point streaks. ... Palushaj, who had an assist last night, has five goals and four assists over the last six games, while Nemisz (who scored last night) has two goals and four assists in his last five. ... As of right now, 25-percent of the Checkers wins this season have come via Oklahoma City. The franchise record for wins against one team in a single season is seven, which Charlotte has done twice (2010-11 against Norfolk & 2011-12 against Peoria). 

Western Conference standings update: