UTICA COMETS (0-2) vs. TORONTO MARLIES (2-0)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHL Live | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #TORvsUTI
Tonight’s Game: The Utica Comets battle the Toronto Marlies in Game Three of the North Division Semifinals. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: The Utica Comets fell to the Toronto Marlies by a score of 5-2 in Game Two of the North Division Semifinals Sunday evening. Pierre Engvall gave the Marlies a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game. Cam Darcy tied the game at one at the 12:05 mark of the first period. Michael Carcone had the assist. Dmytro Timashov regained the Marlies’ lead four minutes later with a power play goal. Michael Chaput tied the game at two with a power play goal 1:38 into the third period. Tanner MacMaster and Nikolay Goldobin tallied the assists. Greening responded 38 seconds later to make it 3-2 Toronto. Carl Grundstrom extended the lead to 4-2 with 8:40 to go in the third. Moore sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 59 seconds to go in regulation. Thatcher Demko finished 24 with saves.
Head-to-Head: The Marlies lead the series 2-0 thanks to a 3-2 overtime win in Game One and a 5-2 win in Game Two. Toronto also won the regular season series 5-2-1 and is 22-13-3 all-time in the regular season.
Scouting the Marlies: Dmytro Timashov leads the way with three points in two games. Six players on the Marlies have at least two points. Goaltender Garret Sparks has started both games and owns a 2-0-0 record with a 1.74 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
No Place Like Home: The Comets will look to turn the series around as the North Division Semifinals shift back to Utica. The last time the Comets trailed 2-0 in a series, they managed to win Game Three to keep the season alive on home ice. In addition, the Comets have never been swept in a playoff series. Utica is 10-6-3 against Toronto and 8-5-2 all-time at home in the playoffs.
Stepping Up: Michael Chaput has been on an offensive tear over the last three weeks. Including the regular season, Chaput is riding a three-game point streak and has points in six of his last seven games. The veteran forward leads the Comets with three points (2-1-3) in two postseason games this year.
Killin’ It: The Comets’ penalty kill has been very good through the first two games. Despite taking 14 total penalties in the first two games, the Comets have only allowed two goals while down a man. Utica’s penalty kill ranked second in the regular season at 85.5%.
Do Or Die: There’s no sugarcoating it. Utica needs a win tonight to force Game Four or their season will be over. The Comets are 3-2 all-time when facing elimination.
Next Game: If they win tonight, the Comets will be back in action for Game Four against the Marlies Friday night if necessary. Puck drop at the Adirondack Bank Center is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange site, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.