Goaltender Kevin St. Pierre broke out of a mini-slump on Friday with 29 saves during regulation and four more in a shootout, as the Komets won a critical road game at Missouri 2-1.
“Frenchy played really well and our penalty kill was a lot better tonight,'' Komets coach Greg Puhalski said. “Good for him, and he was good in the shootout.''
The win allowed the Komets to remain two points back of Motor City for sixth place in the United Hockey League's playoff standings. Motor City beat Fllint 5-0 on Friday. There are 13 games left in the regular season.
The Komets scored first as Colin Chaulk matched his career high with his 23rd goal on the power play at 5:54 of the first period. Missouri tied the score at 9:01 of the second period as J.P. Beilsten scored on a power play.
The Komets had several chances in the third period, including a two-minute stretch when Missouri goaltender Kevin Reiter was forced to play without his stick. It's the third straight game the Komets have been limited to one goal. The Komets have scored 13 goals in their last seven games.
"It's just a matter of we're not scoring, and when you're only scoring one goal a game you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself,'' Puhalski said. “It's hard to win games like that. That's just not going to cut it.''
Despite being out-shot 23-18 through two periods, the Komets came back to out-shoot the River Otters 15-7 in the third period. It's the ninth straight game Fort Wayne has out-shot its opponents.
The Komets play at Western Division leader Rockford on Saturday before hosting Missouri on Sunday.
Before the game the Komets picked up defenseman Mike Dombkiewicz off waivers from Kalamazoo and forward Josh Tataryn from Roanoke Valley. Dombkiewicz, 27, is in his second season as a pro after starting the year with Elmira and skating 27 games before being traded to Kalamazoo where he appeared in 21 games before being placed on waivers. Last year Dombkiewicz skated UHL stints with Kansas City, Richmond and Missouri and was selected to the UHL's All-Rookie Team.
Tataryn, 23, played 13 games with the Komets in 2002-03 and 2003-04 before playing two years with Port Huron and this year with Elmira and Roanoke Valley. Neither player is expected to be in the lineup on Saturday but will be available on Sunday.
“We saw Dombkiewicz in the playoffs last year with Missouri and thought he did a pretty good job for them,'' Puhalski said. “Kalamazoo was in a situation where they had a surplus of players and had to let somebody go.
“Josh has some good wheels, and he's in a similar situation. We'll give both of these guys a chance to come in and earn some ice time.''