The Komets just can't seem to make any headway in the standings. They lost 3-1 to the Florida Everblades tonight and remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, though that could change before the night is done.
Forward Scott Fleming returned to the Fort Wayne lineup, after missing one game with a leg injury. But Fort Wayne was without Dean Ouellet (head), Matt Carter (groin), Jason Dale (groin), Christian Ouellet (leg) and Chris Auger, who suffered a head injury in the Komets' 5-2 victory over Florida on Friday night at the Coliseum.
The Everblades opened the scoring on a power play at 13:44, after defenseman Mike Little shot the puck from just inside the blue line. Goaltender Ben Meisner made the initial stop and forward Stefan Della Rovere swept it into the net.
Many of the 8,022 fans in attendance seemed to believe the goal should have been waved off by referee Peter Tarnaris because Della Rovere had been inside the goal crease and interfered with Meisner's ability to make a save.
According to rule 69.1: "Goals should be disallowed if … an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper's ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal."
Meanwhile, the Komets' power play continues to sputter. After coming into the night with the worst-rated power play in the ECHL in home games (9.7 percent), the Komets went 0 for 4.
Florida was 1 for 5.
Fort Wayne's Mike Embach tied it at 7:02 of the second period, skating into the left circle, faking a shot and then blasting toward the far side of the net, where the puck caromed off the skate of Della Rovere and went past goalie Trevor Cann.
The Everblades' Little made it 2-1 at 6:24 of the third period, which seemed an eternity after Fort Wayne had a chance to clear the puck during a Florida power play but didn't chase the puck hard enough along the boards. The Everblades kept the puck in, even after the power play expired, and Little scored from 30 feet out.
Just 1:48 later, the Everblades cemented the victory when Evan Bloodoff tucked a rebound underneath Meisner.
The Komets (27-21-11) came into the weekend tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the Everblades (29-23-7). They remain tied for eighth, but Evansville could leapfrog them both with a victory later tonight.