Barons strike first with OT win

Game 1 (OT)

Anton Lander‘s goal just 1:28 into overtime gave Oklahoma City a 2-1 win and a big Game 1 road victory over the Texas Stars as the Western Conference semifinals opened Thursday night in Cedar Park.

After some excellent cycling down low from linemates Toni Rajala and Teemu Hartikainen, Lander redirected Rajala’s centering pass into the top corner behind Cristopher Nilstorp for the win.

It was the third straight victory — all on the road — for the Barons, who got past Charlotte in the opening round by winning Games 4 and 5 of that series.

Oklahoma City got on the board first when Mark Arcobello snuck down the right-wing side and one-timed a Philippe Cornet feed from behind the net, beating Nilstorp with 4:52 left in the first period.

Texas tied the score with 3:30 remaining in the second period as Jordie Benn carried the puck in deep and fed Francis Wathier, whose shot from the bottom of the left circle beat Yann Danis with traffic in front.

But that was the only puck that the Stars got past Danis (4-2), who finished with 34 saves on the night.

Nilstorp (3-2), who has still not allowed more than two goals in any of his five starts this postseason, stopped 24 of 26 shots in defeat.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Saturday night at the Cedar Park Center.