Rangers: 34-26-2-2, sixth in west
Firebirds: 32-25-1-5, seventh in west
Head to head: Flint leads the season series 2-1.
Game-time: 7 p.m.
The skinny: The Firebirds have lost two straight but have seven of a possible 10 points in their past five games and are two points back of the sixth place Rangers. A regulation win tonight means they will be tied with Kitchener with 72 points but will take sixth spot based on winning the season series.
Keep an eye on: Flint centre Ryan Moore leads his team in scoring with 84 points in 63 games and has five points against the Rangers this season.
Jumping Joe: Kitchener's Joseph Garreffa scored his 25th goal of the season in last night's 6-1 loss to the Soo. That puts him in a tie for 37th overall in the OHL and gives the Rangers three players with 25 or more goals this season. Adam Mascherin has a team-high 34 and Connor Bunnaman has 31.
Joseph Garreffa-Riley Damiani-Adam Mascherin
Connor Bunnaman-Darby Llewellyn-Jake Henderson
Nick McHugh-Greg Meireles-Cole Carter
Dylan Seitz-Eric Guest-Cedric Schiemenz
Andrew Burns-Frank Hora
Giovanni Vallati-Dylan Di Perna
Kyle Gentles-Alex Peterson
Luke Opilka (11-13-1-1) starts.
Maurizio Colella-Ryan Moore-Kole Sherwood
Nicholas Caamano-C.J Clark-Everett Clark
Jack Phibbs-Ty Dellandrea-Jake Durham
Ryan Littlejohn-Hunter Holmes-Michal Stenocher
Alex Peters-Dennis Busby
Fedor Gordeev-Mathieu Henderson
Sam Duchesne-Hakon Nilsen
Connor Hicks (18-11-0-3) starts.
- Erie's Alex DeBrincat scored in last night's 4-1 win over London. That ties him with Mike Ricci for the OHL record with goals in 19 straight games.
- The Rangers were snowed in last night in the Soo and arrived in Flint today. At least the lads got a good night's sleep.
- Another strong first period by the Rangers with 14 shots.
- Defenceman Giovanni Vallati left the game late in the first period with an apparent knee injury. The rookie needed help to get up and off the ice after colliding with Flint's Ryan Littlejohn. Vallati did not return. UPDATE: Vallati will be re-evaluated Sunday. Coach Jay McKee doesn't think it's going to be long term at this stage.
- Kitchener unveiled a five forward power play featuring Bunnaman, Llewellyn, Mascherin, Damiani and Garreffa and it went 3-for-6.
- Not a pretty third period as the Rangers were outscored 2-0 and outshot 18-3. But the team got the much needed win in OT. Fitting that it was Nick McHugh that scored. After all, he jumped in to fight Ryan Littlejohn after Vallati was hit.
- Connor Bunnaman scored his third career hat trick. All goals came on the power play.
- The Rangers thought the game-tying goal - scored with 1:03 to go in the third - was offside. The play was reviewed and the goal stood.
- Draws 32-30 Kitchener.
- A monster return for Luke Opilka who stopped 42 shots in his first start since Feb. 12.
- Equally impressive was Kitchener's PK which killed a five-on-three for 1:44 in the third period. Captain Frank Hora was out there for all of it.
- With three helpers Adam Mascherin is now just two points shy of the 100-point plateau.
JB's top three Rangers: Connor Bunnaman, Luke Opilka, Frank Hora