CALGARY, Alberta — Chris Butler scored at 4:56 of overtime after Karri Ramo stopped Jeff Skinner on a penalty shot late in the third period, giving the Calgary Flames a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Brian McGrattan also scored for Calgary and Paul Byron had two assists, hours after the struggling Flames fired general manager Jay Feaster and assistant John Weisbrod. Next, the team heads out on a five-game Eastern road swing that begins Saturday in Buffalo.
Skinner tied it midway through the third but was denied by Ramo on a penalty shot with 5:25 left in regulation. Carolina fell to 0-1-2 on a four-game trip.
Byron crossed the Hurricanes blue line in overtime and curled back patiently before sending a pass across to Butler. The defenseman wristed a shot from 50 feet out that beat a screened Justin Peters.
Both goalies played well. Ramo made 29 stops to improve to 5-5-1. Peters, making his fourth start in the last six games for the Hurricanes, had 27 saves but dropped to 6-8-2.
The Flames (12-15-4) took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but for the third game in a row couldn’t hold the advantage. Skinner scored at 11:10 after being set up by Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Staal.
It was a soft goal for Ramo to allow, coming on a 30-foot wrist shot that trickled through his pads.
Ramo got a chance to redeem himself less than 4 minutes later when Ladislav Smid’s hook on Skinner during a breakaway resulted in a penalty shot.
Skinner tried to beat Ramo between the legs again, but this time Ramo stoned him to keep the game even.
After an uneventful opening 20 minutes, the action picked up in the second. The first notable chance was by Skinner, who beat Ramo but rattled his shot off the post.
Later in the second with the game still scoreless, Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk pinched in from the blue line and fired a shot that caromed off both posts but stayed out.
It was an eventful day in Calgary. In the morning, President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke announced the firings of Feaster and Weisbrod, an assistant GM.
Throughout his press conference, Burke alluded to the Flames being too small, not tough enough and needing to play more hostile, or truculent, as he likes to describe it.
Appropriately, it was the Flames’ most physical player, McGrattan, who opened the scoring at 17:49 the first period.
Hard work along the end boards from Byron and Lance Bouma culminated in Bouma setting up McGrattan in the slot. The rugged wing snapped a shot through the pads of Peters.
It was the first goal of the season for McGrattan and his first in 30 games dating to last season.
Both teams welcomed back veteran forwards to their lineup.
For the Flames, Curtis Glencross (knee) returned after missing 15 games and TJ Galiardi (back) was back in after being sidelined for eight games.
Carolina got Alexander Semin (concussion) back after he missed 12 games.