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The Komets and the Wings playoff series shot out of the gate this past weekend with 2 games in 2 nights in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne won both games. On Friday night the Komets won 4-2 and they followed it up with a 3-0 shut out on Saturday. The series will change this week as Kalamazoo hosts games 3-5 this week (game 5 if necessary.) The Wings have some serious work to do on home ice if they want to extend the series back to Fort Wayne for games 6 and 7.
Game 1 & 2 Notes:
- The trio that I noted in the preview of Embach, Faille and Szydlowski scored a combined 2 goals and had 4 assists in the first 2 games. That’s 32% of the points earned by the Komets.
- Komets goalie Roman Will started both games and saved a combined 63 of 65 shots he faced. In two games, Will has a .969 save percentage
- The Wings penalty kill went 8 for 9 in the first two games.
- Roman Will stopped a penalty shot at 11:13 in period 3 of Game 1 and Kalamazoo has only scored one goal since.
- The Komets are yet to trail at any point in the series.
Looking Forward to Games 3 and 4:
- Kalamazoo has only lost 1 home game since February 22nd.
- The Wings most proficient scorer, Ludwig Blomstrand has no points in the series and was denied on a penalty shot in Game 1
- The Komets are only 2-4 in their last game road games, including 2 played in Kalamazoo. (lost both)
- Playing 3 straight at home, requires the Wings to win 3 in a row in order to hold home ice in the series.
- The Wings are 5-3-0-1 at home versus Fort Wayne at the Wings Event Center this season and have won 5 straight against the Komets since January 17th. (Thanks to Wings broadcaster Mike Modugno for the stat)
- Mitchell Heard is expected to rejoin the Komets for the weekend, after Lake Erie (AHL) failed to make the Calder Cup playoffs. In 12 games prior to his call-up, Heard had 16 points (10G, 6A.)
Both teams are very difficult to beat on home ice and I don’t anticipate the scoring drought for the Wings to last much longer. Kalamazoo understands how important it is for them to win and game 3 and the Komets are yet to have to come from behind in the series. If the Wings can get up early in game 3, they may be able to breathe and relax. It will also show us how the Komets react to getting punched first. The added pressure of having to win all 3 games at home could wear on Kalamazoo as the weekend progresses. I expect to see Blomstrand get some offense going, the Komets offense to be squeezed more and for the Wings to take 2 out of 3 while home.