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The Journal Gazette

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Cincinnati's Nick Huard, left, tries to get around Komets defenseman Curtis Leonard deep in the Komets' zone in the first period of their game on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette The puck hits the crossbar above Komets goalie Garrett Bartus during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Garrett Thompson, center, takes shot against Cincinnati goalie Mark Visentin during the second period of the Komets' game against the Cyclones on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets goalie Garrett Bartus, reaches out with his blocker pad to knock the puck away from the goal during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Gabriel Desjardins jumps to avoid the puck at Memorial Coliseum, as Cincinnati's Peter Leblanc, Eric Knodel and Mark Visentin are in on the play. 

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Mike Cazzola tries to get to the rebound, after Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Visentin makes a save and Craig Dalrymple guards the net. 

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets defenseman Kyle Flemington, left, mixes up with Cincinnati's Seth Ambroz during a second-period fight on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Mike Cazzola of the Komets takes a shot at Memorial Coliseum as the Cincinnati Cyclones' Saverio Posa defends. 

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Gabriel Desjardins, center, jumps to avoid a shot during the first period of their game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Komets forward Gabriel Desjardins, left, tries to kick the puck away from Cincinnati's Arvin Atwal behind the Cyclones' net during the first period of their game on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette Mason Baptista, left, celebrates after tipping in a goal in the second period of the Komets' game against Cincinnati on Friday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Komets captain Jamie Schaafsma, middle, battles with Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Mark Visentin to get to the puck, which missed the net after a shot by Garrett Thompson. Cincinnati's Craig Dalrymple, bottom, and Saverio Posa are in on the play. 

Friday, January 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Different offense results in K's victory

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Three of the Komets’ four goals tonight came off redirections, and they defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-2 at Memorial Coliseum.

While it’s unreasonable to expect so many such goals every night, the Komets do need to be playing more of this type of game. And they know it.

"It’s getting pucks to the net. That’s our main theme now," said Mason Baptista, who had his first two-goal game since last season.

Goaltender Garrett Bartus was terrific with 24 saves, as Fort Wayne has won back-to-back games on the heels of its first three-game losing streak of the season.

But this was also testament to the value of watching a team on film and making the necessary adjustments. The Komets knew from their first three games of the season against Cincinnati, and from watching film of the Cyclones’ 3-2 loss at Greenville, North Carolina, on Sunday, that Cincinnati clogs up the front of the net effectively.

So Fort Wayne pushed its offense more to the sides, worked the puck down low and just fired the puck on net more.

It worked.

"The big thing was just getting pucks to the net," Baptista said. "Our defense did a really good job of shooting around the screens. We know they’re a really good fronting team and you’re seeing teams do that more and more because defensemen are getting too many quality chances in front of the net. So our game plan was to get to the sides and get in front of the goalies’ eyes."

This isn’t to say this was a flawless game. It was anything but that.

The Komets gave up a goal 35 seconds after they took a 1-0 lead, and it’s amazing how often the Komets score and then let one back in to the other team. They also allowed the Cyclones to score with 1:06 left in the game and then get a power play to make things interesting. And coach Gary Graham said he’d have liked to see better work from his power play, which was 1 for 4 tonight.

But the Komets need to be able to win games like this, not just using their skill, especially with so many guys in the American Hockey League or injured.

jcohn@jg.net