UTICA COMETS (22-23-9) vs. BINGHAMTON SENATORS (23-28-3)
Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, 7:05 p.m.
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Tonight’s game: The Utica Comets faceoff against the Senators for the fourth of six occasion this season and final in Binghamton, New York. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m.
Last game: The first goal of the night came halfway through the first period by Jordan Subban on a wrist shot. His 13th of the year was assisted by Mike Zalewski and Pascal Pelletier. In the second period with 10:17 left, Darren Archibald extended the lead for the Comets. Michael Carcone picked up the assist to move the game into the third.
With 10 minutes remaining in the final period Tom Kostopoulos put the Penguins on the board with a power play strike. Thatcher Demko made 27 saves on the night and his record improved to 10-11-4.
Head-to-head: The North Division rival has beaten the Comets in all three meetings so far this season. Each game has been decided by just one goal with the most recent game being forced to an overtime period. Despite the slow start to the season series, the Comets are 5-2-1 all-time against the Senators. Darren Archibald leads all active players with three points, all assists, in the series.
Scouting the Senators: Binghamton has lost three straight games, including two losses against the Toronto Marlies. The streak began after the team won three straight games. Phil Varone leads the team with 25 assists and 38 points. Rookie Jack Rodewald leads the active players with 16 goals. Chris Driedger leads the goaltending group with a record of 10-12-2, a 2.93 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. The netminder is second on the team in games played behind Matt O’Connor.
Finish line of the sprint: Tonight, the Comets conclude the string of five games in seven days. The team has compiled a record of 2-1-1 with wins coming on Monday afternoon against Albany and last night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. All the games have been decided by goal with the exception of Sunday’s 7-4 loss where the Phantoms scored two empty net goals.
Standings look: After last night’s win, the Comets remain fifth in the division but are closing in on the St. John’s IceCaps for the final playoff position. The IceCaps have lost two straight, including last night’s game where they allowed the Albany Devils to comeback in the third period. The Comets stand two games back but have a game in hand.
Back to form: Since coming off an injury, Mike Zalewski has registered a goal and an assist in the last two games. On Wednesday, he snapped a seven-game pointless streak and a 14-game goalless streak. In addition, Pascal Pelletier has amassed three assists in the last four games. This is after he totaled one assist in six games.
Next game: The Comets return to the Utica Memorial Auditorium for three games next weekend. On Friday, the Senators return for a 7 p.m faceoff. Fans are encouraged to utilize the ticket exchange website, StubHub!. The game can be heard on 94.9 KROCK and viewed on AHL Live.