CINCINNATI - Sometime over the next few days, Chris Auger will find out whether he needs to have surgery for an upper chest injury.
"It initially happened in the 2012 playoffs, but with the year off last year I was able to fully heal it, and this year on two separate occasions I banged it up really,really badly,'' Auger said. "It's one of those things that only time can heal it, and you have no time in the playoffs. I'm not using that as an excuse, but I just wasn't good enough.''
Auger scored only one goal in the playoffs and was held to one assist in the Cincinnati series. Why didn't the alternate captain sit out?
"When you have a letter and you are injured, you have to find other ways to lead, and coming out of the lineup was never an option,'' he said. "There was no option to take two or three weeks off, and we were pressing for so long. We got into a position to almost make the conference finals, and you definitely want to be a part of that. I wanted to be out there for them and do the best I could.''
So far, he said, there's been no determination of the injury's extent.
Marino gets knocked out
This will be a playoff experience Komets and ECHL scoring leader Brandon Marino will like to forget. He was held to two assists in the series as the Komets struggled to find offense. Coach Gary Graham eventually broke up the regular-season line of Marino, Auger and center Scott Fleming, and Tuesday night he tried playing Marino with Dean Ouellet and Mike Embach.
Things got worse for Marino in the third period. As the Komets were trying to rally, he crashed into the boards behind the Cincinnati net and hyperextended his left knee. With 12:52 remaining, Marino had to be helped from the ice and was unable to return.
After the game, he said he hoped the injury was just a sprain.
Mixing it up
In an effort to find some scoring, Graham mixed up his forward lines for Game 6. He put Fleming and Auger together again with a combination of Christian Ouellet or Kaleigh Schrock. Dean Ouellet centered Marino and Embach, and Aaron Clarke centered Shawn Szydlowski and Matt Carter. The defensive pairings remained the same.
The Komets' annual fan party and jersey auction will be Thursday in the Appleseed Room at Memorial Coliseum. The doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the auction will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free to season-ticket holders and costs $5 to the general public. Light snacks and a cash bar will be available.
Icing the puck
Komets scored more than three goals in only one playoff game, a 5-1 win in Game 3 against Reading. ... Cincinnati scored first in all six games of this series and in 10 of 12 playoff games so far. ... The Komets scored two power-play goals in 19 chances and held the Cyclones to two goals in 16 chances. Fort Wayne was 2 of 32 for the playoffs. ... Komets broadcaster Bob Chase called his 498th career playoff game in Fort Wayne. ... Cincinnati has reached the conference final for the fifth time in the last seven years.