The Comets play their final road game of the season Saturday when they take on North Division opponent Belleville.
The Comets' first-round playoff opponent could be decided with: a Rochester win at Syracuse, OR a Utica loss (reg/OT/shootout) at Belleville, OR a Rochester point at Syracuse AND a Utica shootout win at Belleville.
What: Utica Comets at Belleville Senators.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Yardmen Arena, Belleville, Ontario.
Radio: KROCK 94.9 FM.
Game updates on Twitter: @OD_Comets
Records: Comets 37-25-8-4 (86 points, 4th place in the North Division; Crunch 28-41-2-3 (61 points, 6thin the North Division)
Season series: The Comets are 3-2-0-0 following the Senators’ 4-3 win March 17 in Belleville.
About the Comets: Utica is coming off back-to-back losses to Syracuse, including a 2-1 overtime setback on Friday. The Comets are 2-1-2-0 in their last five games. ... The Comets have earned at least a point in four of the last five road games (3-1-1-0). They are 21-11-4-1 on the road (seventh best in the AHL) and have the fourth-best road penalty kill. ... The Comets' 1,128 penalty minutes this season are a team record and fourth-most in the AHL. The previous record was 1,092 minutes. ... With his goal Friday, Michael Carcone has tripled his goals from his rookie season. He also has a career-best 27 points. ... Prospect Jonathan Dahlen, who was an Ottawa draft pick, is expected to make his regular-season Comets' debut Saturday, according to the Trent Cull. Dahlen is among the expected lineup changes for the Comets as the rest a few players with an afternoon game on tap Sunday and the playoffs looming.
About the Senators: Belleville is coming off a 6-4 loss to Rochester on Friday after leading 3-0. The Senators are 2-4-0-0 in their last six games. ... Belleville has 1,191 penalty minutes this season, which are second most in the league. The Senators have the worst penalty kill in the league. ... Filip Chlapik is tied for a team-best five points (2-3-5) against the Comets. He is 3-6-9 in his last five games. ... Marcus Hogberg is expected to start in goal, according to the Belleville. He's 0-1-0 with 3.25 goals-against average against the Comets this season.
Comets Injuries: Tony Cameranesi was injured last Thursday in the first period has not played since. … Guillaume Brisebois practiced Wednesday after missing the last three games. He didn't play Friday … Zack MacEwen practiced Wednesday in a red no-contact jersey left March 30 after absorbing a hit near center ice. He didn't play Friday. ... Joe LaBate has been out since Feb. 19 and remains week-to-week. ... Brendan Woods (lower-body) has been out since Jan. 10. He’s month-to-month. ... Yan-Pavel Laplante (upper body) is out indefinitely. ... Evan McEneny (knee surgery) is expected to be out through the regular season.
Deals: Jonathan Dahlen was assigned to the Comets on Thursday. … On Tuesday, forward Caleb Herbet and defensemen Aaron Irving and Willie Corrin were signed by the Comets to PTOs while Goaltender Michael Garteig was recalled from Kalamazoo. … Forwards Nikolay Goldobin and Tyler Motte and defenseman Ashton Sautner were assigned the Comets on Monday. … Matt Leitner was released from PTO on Sunday.
Comets active leaders: Michael Chaput 16-25-41
Patrick Wiercioch 9-27-36
Zack MacEwen 10-22-32
Nikolay Goldobin 9-21-30
Michael Carcone 15-12-27
Comets goaltenders: Thatcher Demko 2.43/.923/24-13-7
Richard Bachman 2.97/.902/13-12-5
Michael Garteig -- No AHL starts this season
Senators active leaders: Filip Chlapik 11-21-32
Ville Pokka 7-24-31
Jim O'Brien 13-16-29
Nick Paul 13-13-26
Gabriel Gagne 20-5-25
Senators goaltenders: Marcus Hogberg 3.42/.893/5-12-0
Filip Gustavsson 2.81/.919/2-3-0
UTI - 56/308– 18.2%, 13th
BEL – 40/295– 13.6%, 30th
UTI – 48/330– 85.5%, 2nd
BEL – 70/310– 77.4%, 30th