Defensemen Chase Stewart and Kyle Haas served the final portions of their six-game ECHL suspensions.
That was about the only good news Saturday for the Komets, who got walloped 6-1 by the Wheeling Nailers in front of 3,517 fans at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Wheeling (23-20-5) is now within three points of Fort Wayne for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, and the Nailers have three games in hand. Fort Wayne (23-20-8), which has 21 games remaining, plays the Indy Fuel at Indianapolis 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The Komets dropped to below .500 on the road at 11-12-4.
Their Brett McKenzie opened the scoring 7:14 into the first period, but Wheeling answered with goals from Graham Knott, Ryan Scarfo, Fort Wayne-native Blake Siebenaler, Cam Brown, Yushiro Hirano and Alex Butcher, the last coming with his team skating short-handed.
Cole Kehler stopped 22 of 28 shots for the Komets, who were trying to win a third consecutive game for the first time since the first week of December. Jordan Ruby stopped 39 of 40 for the Nailers, who won for the sixth time in eight games.
Before the game, forward Ben Jones was called from Fort Wayne to Chicago of the American Hockey League. Jones had one goal and five points in eight ECHL games.
The Komets played one man short of a full 18-player lineup, and with only five defensemen, as they were without Brady Shaw (undisclosed), Shawn St-Amant (upper body) and Brad Morrison (lower body).