UTICA COMETS (19-14-8) vs. SYRACUSE CRUNCH (24-13-4)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK, Desktop or Mobile
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #SYRvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Syracuse Crunch in game six of the Galaxy Cup series on Save of the Day night. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 3-2 in overtime Friday night at the XL Center. Ryan Sproul put the Wolf Pack up 1-0 with 7:34 to go in the opening frame as he put a loose puck behind Richard Bachman. Sproul struck again with a power play goal at the 16:04 mark of the second period to put Hartford up 2-0. Reid Boucher brought the Comets back to within one at 13:05 to go in the third period, firing a one-timer past Wolf Pack goaltender Marek Mazanec. Nikolay Goldobin and Cam Darcy tallied the assists. Dylan Blujus netted the equalizer with a long shot from the point three minutes later. Ashton Sautner and Goldobin picked up the assists. Neither team found the net in the final 10 minutes and the Comets would need overtime for the fourth straight game. Chytil scored the game-winning goal 1:10 into overtime. Bachman finished with 28 saves and his record falls to 4-7-3.
Head-to-Head: This is the sixth meeting between the North Division rivals. Syracuse leads the season series 3-2-0 and won the most recent matchup 3-2 on January 12. The Crunch are outscoring the Comets 15-10 through five games this year.
Scouting the Crunch: Syracuse comes in with a record of 24-13-4 and sits in third place in the North Division. They most recently lost to the Toronto Marlies 4-1 last night. Matthew Peca leads the way offensively with 31 points, followed by Adam Erne with 26 points. Rookie Connor Ingram leads the active goaltenders with a record of 10-6-2, a 2.64 goals-against average, and .921% save percentage.
On A Roll: Thatcher Demko has been on fire over the last month. Demko is 7-1-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .943% save percentage in his last 10 starts. The second-year netminder is 15-7-5 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .928% save percentage in 27 starts this season.
As Good As Gold: Nikolay Goldobin is back to his old ways since returning from his stint with the Canucks. Goldobin has tallied three points (0-3-3) and a shootout game-winning goal since returning to the lineup on January 15. The fourth year forward has registered 22 points (7-15-22) in 21 games this season.
Feelin’ Blu: Dylan Blujus continues to prove his worth on the Comets’ back end. Blujus has collected five points (1-4-5) in his last seven games while playing critical power play and penalty kill minutes. The defenseman has picked up 9 points (2-7-9) in 16 games with Utica this year.
Right The Ship: The Comets penalty kill will look to get back on track tonight after surrendering a power play goal in three consecutive games. Utica has killed off 23 of 25 total penalties in five games against Syracuse this season. The Comets kill ranks eight overall in the AHL at 85.2%.
Next Game: The Comets return to action Wednesday night as they host the Hartford Wolf Pack for the final time this season. Puck drops at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.