UTICA COMETS (5-6-1-0) vs. LAVAL ROCKET (4-7-1-0)
Adirondack Bank Center, 7 p.m.
Watch Live: AHLTV | Listen Live: 94.9 K-ROCK
Follow and Interact Live: Twitter | Hashtag: #LAVvsUTI
Today’s Game: The Utica Comets host the Laval Rocket for the third consecutive game. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
Last Game: It was a defensive battle throughout the entire game but the Utica Comets ultimately fell to the Laval Rocket 2-1 in overtime Saturday afternoon at Place Bell. Cam Darcy scored the lone Comets goal and Ivan Kulbakov stopped 33 shots in the loss as his record fell to 4-2-1.
Head-to-Head: This is the third meeting between the North Division rivals this season. The two teams have split their first two games, with the Comets taking a 3-1 decision last Friday and the Rocket winning 2-1 in overtime last Saturday.
Scouting the Rocket: Laval comes in with a record of 4-7-1-0 and sits in last place in the North Division. Kenny Agostino leads the offense with 10 points, followed by Alex Belzile with nine points. Charlie Lindgren is the leading goaltender with a record of 3-5-1, a 2.71 goals-against average, and .875 save percentage.
Power Outage: The Comets’ power play has been struggling lately. Utica has not scored a goal on the man advantage in four straight games, going 0-17 over that stretch. Expect another chess match on special teams as the Comets power play is operating at 26.9% at home while Laval has not allowed a power play goal on the road yet this year.
Carrying the Load: Ivan Kulbakov has been a workhorse in net for the Comets recently. The second-year netminder has made 30 or more saves in five of his seven starts and has not lost back-to-back games yet this season. Kulbakov is 4-2-1 on the year with 2.89 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.
Playing Ahead: The Comets are a tough team to beat when playing with a lead. Utica is 3-1-0-0 when leading after the first period and 5-0-0-0 when leading after forty minutes. Getting out to a fast start will be important for the Comets tonight as Laval has only won one game when trailing after the first two period.
Milestone Watch: Jaime Sifers is closing in on a career milestone. Sifers is 10 games away from 600 career AHL games. The veteran defenseman has racked up 156 career points (36-120-156) and two points (1-1-2) this year with the Comets.
Next Game: The Comets are back in action Friday night as they host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Purple Heart Night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to use the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL TV.