The Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes have both turned in impressive five-game stretches, though they’ve done so with varying paths to success.
Both teams will try to continue climbing Monday night in Carolina in a series that’s gone Calgary’s way for more than a decade.
November has given the Hurricanes new life with a 4-0-1 record after going winless in its first eight games. They allowed 3.9 goals per game during that slide but have surrendered just 10 in the last five.
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The Flames (9-5-2) have scored 22 goals over a 4-1-0 stretch, keeping pace near the top of the Pacific Division, after winning 6-4 in Florida on Saturday.
They went down by two early in the second period, were within one entering the third and got three goals in the final 20 minutes. Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau each had a goal and two assists, while Lance Bouma, Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan managed a goal and an assist apiece.
Over the last six games, Girodano has totaled 11 points while the 21-year-old Gaudreau has nine. Giordano has four straight multipoint efforts and scored short-handed Saturday.
"He’s the ultimate warrior," coach Bob Hartley told the team’s official website. "… There’s always a second, third or fourth effort. He makes the biggest effort to help our hockey club and that’s why he’s our captain."
Monahan has scored in three consecutive games and had two goals in a 5-0 home win over Carolina on Oct. 23.
The Flames have won four straight in the series and are 8-1-1 in it since the start of the 2003-04 season. They also blanked the Hurricanes (4-6-3) in the final meeting last season.
Jonas Hiller notched his only shutout in his first season with Calgary when he made 16 saves against Carolina last month. He’s 4-1-0 with a 1.58 goals-against average against the Hurricanes and enters this matchup playing well, going 7-1-1 with a 1.73 GAA since losing his first two starts with the Flames.
Carolina’s four-game winning streak came to an end with Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss at Washington.
While Anton Khudobin started against the Capitals and remains winless, Cam Ward has been in goal for the four wins with a 1.48 GAA. Ward is just 2-3-0 with a 4.06 GAA in six starts against Calgary after giving up all five goals in last month’s meeting.
At the other end of the ice, Elias Lindholm continues to produce. The 19-year-old center has five goals and two assists in five games this month after scoring in the third period against Washington to force overtime.
Justin Faulk assisted on that goal as well as Riley Nash’s first-period tally. The defenseman has five points in five games this month but wants the team to start stronger after it fell behind 2-0 on Saturday.
"We’ve just got to learn from this and know this isn’t the way you want to start," Faulk told the team’s official website. "It’s hard to play if you start like that."
Calgary might also want some early improvement. While both the Hurricanes and Flames have just nine first-period goals this season, Calgary has scored just 18.8 percent of its goals in the first.