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Charlotte Blanks Barons

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John Muse recorded his third shutout of the season and the Charlotte Checkers improved to 5-0 this season against the Oklahoma City Barons with a 4-0 win on Thursday in the first of back-to-back games at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Barons, 16-21-1-5, had a two-game winning streak snapped, while the Checkers won their third straight, all with Muse (15-8-0) in net. Muse made 31 saves as the Barons were blanked for the fourth time this season.

Charlotte, 20-19-0-1, has won six of seven and is over .500 for the first time since Nov. 2, when they were 5-4-0-1. The Barons remain 12th in the Western Conference with 38 points.

Thursday's game was the first of six between the clubs this season in Charlotte and the fifth of 12 overall. Seven of Oklahoma City's 33 remaining games are against the Checkers, top affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Charlotte opened the scoring at 12:12 of the first period when Greg Nemisz converted a centering pass from Aaron Palushaj. They added another at 13:43 when Justin Shugg raced most of the way up ice and shot one that hit goaltender Richard Bachman before trickling in. Bachman stopped 24 of 28 shots over the first periods to fall to 8-12-2. Chet Pickard played the third, stopping all 8 shots he faced.

Brett Sutter made the score 3-0 at 15:50 of the second period on a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Chris Terry, tallying the first shortie of the year against the Barons. They were the last club in the AHL to allow a shorthander.

Shugg completed the scoring from the edge of the crease at 18:21 of the second.

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