Walleye lose 5-3 to Fort Wayne as 2nd round begins

The Toledo Walleye lost a bizarre playoff game on Saturday night, dropping a 3-1 lead to the Fort Wayne Komets, who ultimately won 5-3 during a game in which the Komets out-shot the Walleye 36-15.

Toledo was out-shot 21-5 in the 1st period and 8-3 in the 2nd period, so the Walleye afforded the Komets a peppering of goaltender Pat Nagle. Without much support, he could only keep Fort Wayne down for so long, and the Komets now lead the second-round series 1 game to 0 going into Sunday’s rematch.

The Walleye’s website posted a recap:

Walleye fall to Komets in Game One of Central Division Finals

(Toledo, OH) – AJ Jenks scored twice, but the Walleye fell to the Komets 5-3 on Saturday night in Toledo. Pat Nagle stopped 31 of 36 shots and is 4-1-0 in the postseason. The Walleye trail the best of seven series one games to none.

AJ Jenks (2nd) tipped the shot from Simon Denis past Komets goaltender, Michael Houser, at 6:08 of the first period on the power play to put the Walleye up 1-0. Fort Wayne would tie the game 1-1 with a shot that beat Nagle at the 9:00 mark of the frame. Jenks (3rd) scored his second of the game when the shot of Denis deflected off his stick and into the back of the net on the power play at 19:14 to make it 2-1 Walleye.

Patrick McCarron (1st) would find the back of the net at 2:01 of the second period to extend the Walleye lead to 3-1. The Komets would respond with two goals in a span of 1:54 to tie the game up 3-3 by 5:15 of the frame. The Komets would take a 4-3 lead at the 15:00 mark.

The Komets would score at 9:36 of the third period to give the final score of 5-3.

Coach Watson considered the loss a momentum game. “This is just one of those things,” Watson said. “We’re in this series and we have to take care of the puck. We made tonight easy for Fort Wayne.”

Fish Tales:

  • Game 2 is set for Sunday evening with a 5:15 p.m. puck drop in Toledo. Game 3 is set for Wednesday night at 7:35 p.m. puck drop in Fort Wayne.
  • Nagle stopped 31 of 36 shots and is 4-1-0 in the postseason.
  • Tyler Barnes (1G, 7A) and Kyle Bonis (3G, 5A) lead the Walleye with eight points in five postseason games played.
  • Christian Hilbrich leads the Walleye with five goals in five postseason games played.
  • Toledo finished 2/3 on the power play and killed off two Komets power plays.

The Walleye also posted a highlight clip:

Update: Here’s more from the Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe:

“We got outplayed,” Walleye coach Dan Watson said. “It was a game full of mistakes. There were too many [trouble areas] to just pinpoint one thing. They handled us. That could arguably be one of the worst performances we’ve had five on five all year long. They were more determined than us tonight.”

The Walleye’s previous season-low for shots in a game this season was 30. Toledo had trouble sustaining any pressure throughout the game. The Komets held the Walleye to a season-low for shots in a period in both the first (5) and second (3) periods.

Jenks, who now has three goals in the playoffs, said his team must do a lot better job taking care of the puck.

“We gave them too much easy offense,” Jenks said. “We turned too many pucks over at the blue lines. We just have to make harder plays and be harder on bodies. We didn’t generate enough.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.