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Photo Credit: Owen Skye | @designedbyowen

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game: Game #56, Utica Comets At Binghamton Devils

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #56

At Binghamton Devils

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific

It will be another battle of North Division foes today as the division’s third-ranked Comets hit the road to Binghamton to take on the eighth-ranked Devils for game number 56 of the season. The Devils show a record of 23-28-5-0 coming into today’s contest, giving them 51 points on the season. The Comets, for their part, have gone 29-19-5-2 this year to give themselves 65 points.

The Comets power play dropped a spot since yesterday’s game, now sitting 10th in the AHL after scoring 49 times in man-up situations, giving them a success rate of 20.2%. Their penalty killed dropped like a rock after giving up three power play markers yesterday to Rochester. They now sit 17th overall after giving up 42 goals while shorthanded 219 times for an 80.8% success rate.

The Devils special teams have not been good this season. Their power play sits 28th overall in the AHL after scoring 34 goals while up a man 214 times for a paltry 15.9% success rate. Their penalty kill was a little better, sitting 26th overall after giving up 50 goals while shorthanded 241 times for a 79.3% success rate.

Blake Pietila is the Devils points leader with 16 goals and 17 helpers to give himself 33 points in 42 games. Michael McLeod sits second with six goals and 25 assists, giving him 31 points in 51 games this season. John Quenneville rounds out their top three with 16 goals and 13 assists to give himself 29 points in 31 games.

McLeod’s 31 points are good enough to lead all Devils rookies, while Jonathan Dahlen wears the rookie crown in Utica with 14 goals and 15 helpers to give himself 29 points in 50 games.

Reid Boucher is still the top dog in Utica with 24 goals and 26 assists, giving him 50 points in 43 games. Tanner Kero is hot on his heels with 21 goals and 27 helpers to give himself 48 points in 53 games. Brendan Gaunce sits third amongst active Comets with 16 goals and 17 assists, giving him 33 points in 39 games.

The Comets are showing a record of 6-1-2-1 over their previous 10 contests, while Bingo has gone 4-5-1-0 over that same span. The Comets last played to a 4-3 overtime loss to Rochester, while the Devils are coming off of a 5-3 loss to Belleville. The Devils show a home record of 14-13-3-0 this season, while the Comets have gone 13-9-3-2 on the road this season.

Both teams have been outscored by their opposition, but the Comets have kept gap tighter. Binghamton has been outscored by a 194-153 margin, while the Comets have scored 180 times while giving up 187 tallies.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Richard Bachman: G, out for the season, Achilles’ injury.
  2. Olli Juolevi: LD, out for the season, knee surgery.
  3. Dylan Blujus: RD, week-to-week, upper body injury.
  4. Jonah Gadjovich: W, day-to-day, upper body injury.
  5. Kole Lind: W, day-to-day, ill.
  6. Jonathan Dahlen: W, day-to-day, ill.
  7. Brendan Woods: C, day-to-day, ill.
  8. Colton Saucerman: RD, healthy.

Season Series

The two clubs have squared off seven times this season with the Devils holding a four-games-to-three advantage and each club scoring 23 goals in the series.

As bad as the Devils special teams have been this season, they have been better than the Comets in this series. The Devils have gone 5/22 on the power play against Utica, giving them a success rate of 22.7% in the series, while their penalty kill has given up four goals while down a man 30 times to the Comets for an 86.7% success rate. The Comets power play has a success rate of 13.3% against the Devils this year, while their kill shows a success rate of 77.3%.

Head-to-Head

Reid Boucher and Michael McLeod lead the series with seven points each, while Zack MacEwen and Kevin Rooney have each put up six. Coincidentally, both of MacEwen and Rooney are up with their respective parent clubs right now.

Evan McEneny and John Quenneville have each put up five points in the series, while Brendan Gaunce, Lukas Jasek, Tanner Kero, Nathan Bastian, Colin White, and Brandon Gignac have all potted four.

The Comets have used four goaltenders in the series and if I had to guess, I would say that number will climb to five today if Michael Leighton isn’t flu-stricken like so many of his teammates are right now.

Thatcher Demko, Richard Bachman, Ivan Kulbakov and Connor LaCouvee have all seen time for the Comets, while Cam Johnson and Mackenzie Blackwood have been the goaltenders of record for the Devils.

The Comets and Devils will get underway today at 7:05 pm Eastern/4:05 pm Pacific in Binghamton. As always, stay tuned for the CanucksArmy post-game report following today’s action.