The Tri-City Americans have lost two of their past three games, and the Everett Silvertips have lost their past four games. It’s a good time for the one or the other to get their game back on track.
The Americans (30-20-3-0, 63 points) host the U.S. Division-leading Silvertips (30-9-7-2, 69 points) on Wednesday night in a battle of the top two teams in the division.
Tri-City is 3-4 against Everett this season, with the Silvertips winning the last two meetings.
“I thought we played well Friday and Saturday, but Sunday (5-1 loss at Seattle) we didn’t have lot of jump,” Tri-City coach Mike Williamson said. “We have battled back a lot of times this year after being down, but we didn’t seem to have that energy Sunday. We had a day off and now we get a change to regroup and play Everett.”
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Everett, which played at Portland on Tuesday, has been hit with injuries as of late, with defensemen Noah Juulsen (six games) and Lukas Skrumeda (four games) out of action with lower-body injuries.
The Americans were missing a few pieces of their lineup the past couple of games with Michael Rasmussen and Juuso Välimäki at the Top Prospects Game, and goalie Evan Sarthou battling the flu. Rasmussen and Välimäki will be ready to go against Everett, while Sarthou will be a game-time decision.
“They have worked hard and deserved that opportunity,” Williamson said of Rasmussen and Välimäki. “It was great to see them on that stage, and they performed very well. It will be good to have them back. Evan has a touch of the flu and was dizzy and nauseous. We are tying to get him better and keep him out of our room. He practiced today (Tuesday), but he is day-to-day.”
While the Americans dropped their game at Seattle on Sunday, defenseman Parker Wotherspoon set a franchise record for career assists by a defenseman with 133. He passed Tyler Schmidt (2008-11).
Wotherspoon also is closing in on Schmidt’s record for career points by a defenseman. Schmidt scored 165 points in 320 games during his five years with the Americans. Wotherspoon has 163 points in 260 games.
“I think we are guilty of not paying attention to that,” Williamson said. “We were made aware he was zeroing in on those. He has played a lot of games and has meant a lot to this organization. I know he is looking forward to adding to that and helping us win.”
SKILLS ON DISPLAY: Rasmussen and Valimaki gave a preview of their skills Sunday during the Top Prospects Sport Testing Combine.
Rasmussen finished fifth overall in skating skills. He was first in the 30-meter backward skate and third in reaction with the puck drill.
Valimaki finished first in reaction with the puck. In the off-ice tests, he finished second in pro-agility right.