The Comets try to get back on track and end a season-long six-game losing streak when they open a home-and-home series Friday against surging Springfield.

Game time: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Broadcast: 94.9 FM KROCK / AHL Live

Game updates on Twitter: @OD_Comets

Records: Comets 29-20-6-4 (68 points, 4th place in the North Division based on points; Thunderbirds 27-28-3-1 (58 points, 7th in the Atlantic)

Comets Magic Number to clinch playoff spot: 19

Season series: The Thunderbirds lead 1-0-0-0 after a 3-2 win Feb. 24 in Utica.

Comets rushes: Carcone-Chaput(A)-Cameranesi




Pairings: Sautner(A)-Blujus



Demko (Bachman)

About the Comets: Utica’s six-game stretch is currently the longest in the AHL after losing three games last weekend. The Comets, in the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division, are five points back of third-place Rochester and 16 ahead of fifth-place Laval. … The Comets are 1-for-32 on the power play in the last 10 games. They have not scored on the man advantage in eight consecutive games (0-for-28), which is their longest streak this season. … The Comets have only one power-play goal in the last five games and have killed off 27 of their last 28 penalties. … The Comets are 5-8-5-0 against the Atlantic Division this season. They have lost three consecutive games against in-conference rivals. … Zack MacEwen is the Comets’ active points leader with Reid Boucher recalled. MacEwen is 9-21-30, which rank 19th among rookies in the AHL.

About the Thunderbirds: Springfield is on a seven-game (5-0-2-0) point streak following a 2-0 win over Providence on Sunday. Springfield is 11 points out an Atlantic Division playoff spot. … The Thunderbirds have won three consecutive road games, including a 3-2 victory over Utica on Feb. 24. … Former Comets player Curtis Valk has 45 points (15-30-45), which rank tied for 18th in the AHL. He is 4-5-9 in his last six games. … Springfield is 20-0-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.

Comets Injuries: Cam Darcy has missed the last four games. He could return this weekend. … Joe LaBate missed the last five games due to injury. He could return this weekend. ... Brendan Woods (lower-body) has been out since Jan. 10. He’s week-to-week. ... Carter Bancks (lower body) has not played since Dec. 30. He’s working his way back. … Jayson Megna (upper body) has been out since Dec. 22. He remains out. ... Yan-Pavel Laplante (upper body) is out indefinitely. Evan McEneny (knee surgery) is expected to be out through the regular season.

Deals: Ashton Sautner was signed to a two-year extension on Thursday. … Reid Boucher was recalled by the Canucks for the fifth time this season on Tuesday. … Zac Lynch was added on a PTO last Thursday. … Nikolay Goldobin and Jason Motte – acquired by the Vancouver Canucks before last Monday’s trade deadline – each were part of the paper transactions to make them eligible for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

Comets active leaders: Zack MacEwen 9-21-30

Michael Chaput 12-16-28

Patrick Wiercioch 8-18-26

Michael Carcone 12-10-22

Cole Cassels 6-16-22

Comets goaltenders: Thatcher Demko 2.52/.919/19-10-6

Richard Bachman 2.93/.900/10-10-4

Thunderbirds active leaders: Curtis Valk 15-30-45

Anthony Greco 23-18-41

Alex Grenier 15-23-38

Jayce Hawryluk 8-22-30

Dryden Hunt 14-15-29

Thunderbirds goaltenders: Samuel Montembeault 3.18/.989/12-17-3

Harri Sateri 2.41/.922/10-6-0

Power play

UTI - 45/241 – 18.7%, 10th

SPR – 39/265 – 14.7%,26th

Penalty kill

UTI – 37/268 – 86.2%, 3rd

SPR – 45/280 – 83.9%, 10th