Thursday, January 22, 2015

Game 42: Oklahoma City Barons at Charlotte Checkers

Puck Drop: Thursday, 7 p.m.

TV/Radio infoAHL Live / Online

Records: Checkers (15-20-5-1), Barons (27-9-2-3)

The Checkers will play the middle game of a three-in-three set on Thursday as they host the Oklahoma City Barons in the first of back-to-back games at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Checkers fell, 3-2, in the last second of overtime in Norfolk on Wednesday. Though the loss was a tough one to take with Drew MacIntyre turning away 45 shots, the result still gave Charlotte points in six of its last eight games (4-2-2).

After these two games against the Barons, who currently hold the best record in the league, the Checkers (minus Ryan Murphy) will head home for the AHL's All-Star break.

Murphy (0-12-12)  is Charlotte's lone representative in the All-Star game.

Notes: The Barons have won 11 of their last 14 contests and currently hold the best record in the AHL. They rank in the top-five in goals per game, power-play percentage and boast a top-10 penalty killing unit. ... With an empty-net goal to seal the Checkers' win over Toronto on Jan. 16, Zach Boychuk became the franchise's all-time goals leader with 105, surpassing longtime teammate Chris Terry. In six games since returning from an extended NHL stint with Carolina on Jan. 8, Boychuk has four points (2g, 2a), all of which have come in his last three outings. ... With one point scored in each of his last three games (1g, 2a), Chad LaRose has taken sole posession of the team scoring lead with 22 points (10g, 12a). The alternate captain has put up 11 of those points in his last 14 games (6g, 5a). ... Kyle Hagel's goal in Norfolk on Wednesday - his 30th birthday - was his first at any level since April 12, 2013 (82 games). ... The Checkers went 2-for-3 on the power play against Toronto on Jan. 16, snapping a 1-for-41 skid over their previous 11 games. The club did not get a chance to continue that momentum in Norfolk on Wednesday as it did not receive a power play for just the second time in team history (first since April 13, 2012 at Peoria).

Checkers lines:

Brock McGinn-Ben Holmstrom-Chad LaRose
Zach Boychuk-Brody Sutter-Justin Shugg
Phil Di Giuseppe-Brendan Woods-Alex Aleardi
Kyle Hagel-Patrick Brown-Jared Staal

Michal Jordan-Ryan Murphy
Rasmus Rissanen-Danny Biega
Trevor Carrick-Keegan Lowe

John Muse
Drew MacIntyre

Healthy scratches: Carter Sandlak, Dennis Robertson.

Injured/out: Greg Nemisz (knee), Beau Schmitz (undisclosed), Gabriel Desjardins (undisclosed).