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  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Anthony Petruzzelli, left, and the Eagles' Drayson Bowman fight for the puck during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets celebrate after scoring a goal during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette A referee has to hold back the Komets' Mason Baptista, right, and the Eagles' Matt Register to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' goalie Michael Houser guards the goal during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Artur Tyanulin, left, checks the Eagles' Jake Marto against the glass during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets’ Marco Roy notches his second game-winning goal of the Western Conference finals in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' goalie Michael Houser guards as the Eagles' players get close to the goal during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Garrett Thompson looks for a teammate to pass the puck to during the first period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette A referee has to hold back the Komets' Mason Baptista, right, and the Eagles' Matt Register to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Gabriel Desjardins, left, tries to get the puck away from the Eagles' Michael Joly during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.  

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Komets' Kevin McKernan, left, tries to block the Eagles' Nicolas Meloche's pass during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Referees have to hold back the Eagles' Ryan Olsen, left, and the Komets' Anthony Petruzzelli to keep them from fighting during the second period at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 1:20 am

Analyzing Komets' Game 3 victory

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Komets’ 4-2 victory over the Colorado Eagles was nothing like the first two games of the series. Whereas those games were hard-hitting slugfests, this was a slow-burning tactical battle. But it did come down to those key penalties.

A 5-on-3 power play changed the game, allowing Marco Roy to set up Gabriel Desjardins for a goal and a 2-1 lead. Roy shortly followed with a one-timer goal, set up by Garrett Thompson.

The Komets scored on 1 of 4 power plays. The Eagles were 0 for 3. When you have the benefit of an intermission to prepare for such a power play, like the Komets did tonight, you had better capitalize and they did.

Video highlights from the game are above.

The Eagles are the defending champions, so you cannot take a one-game lead in a best-of-7 series for granted, but they are playing a less controlled game than the Komets. Setting up the 5-on-3 was a Collin Bowman penalty that was totally needless – he tossed Anthony Petruzzelli to the ice and started punching him – and a Matt Register high-stick on Desjardins that seemed to be retaliatory.

-- Roy had a goal and two assists in this game. He’s been so impressive for a guy who looked like he could barely skate about a week ago. “I’m a two-way center,” Roy said. “(Coach) Gary (Graham) trusts me to win some good faceoffs down low – I had an important one at the end of this game – and he trust me for that and I’ve got to take pride in that. It’s an important role. Tonight, I was on the ice for three goals for the team, including the big power-play goal, and there was a nice set-up play and it’s fun to contribute like that and to get the win and go up 2-1 in the series.”

-- Without Shawn Szydlowski and, maybe more importantly in this case, without Daniel Maggio, the Komets felt they needed their bigger power forwards to have a presence in this game. Namely, that meant Thompson had to step up and he did by banging in the corners and in front of the net. His goal, the first of the game, set the tone for what would follow. By the way, the Komets say Szydlowski is day-to-day, but I’ll believe we see him this weekend when I see it.

-- If you weren’t in love with Petruzzelli before, you probably are now. “He was an unsung hero tonight,” Graham said. “He took so many hits to make so many plays. But there were so many guys who were sacrificing tonight.”

-- If you were wondering why Artur Tyanulin wasn’t playing, you weren’t alone. And he still has a ways to go. But he was using his speed to draw attention from defenders in this game and did get involved a bit physically.

-- Michael Houser, who stopped 27 shots, showed no signs of rust after sitting out Game 2. In face, he was stupendous early in the game to keep it scoreless.

-- Colorado’s Michael Joly, who was unreal with a hat trick in the Eagles’ 3-2 victory in Game 1, may have had two assists tonight but he had only two shots on goal and the Komets seem to have locked him down for the time being. That’s essential if they want to keep winning.

-- I thought Bobby Shea was tremendous in this game. Sometimes he gets a little too adventurous when handling the puck, but when he’s on like he was in this game, it adds another dimension to what the Komets can do bringing the puck up on the ice and attacking the opposing net. He had an assist and three shots on goal, one of which required a terrific Joe Cannata save.

-- The Komets played well in this game, but I don’t know another wide-open game like this plays into their hands. Colorado likes to get into transition a lot, and it outshot the Komets 29-26 in this game. Fort Wayne, in my opinion, needs to get more sustained pressure in its forecheck, get under Colorado’s skin more and forget about playing the large-ice hockey it did here in the regular season. Colorado is one of the few teams that can do it better, especially with the guys the Komets are missing from their lineup. All that being said, it was mighty impressive how little time in the offensive zone the Eagles had tonight.

jcohn@jg.net