The Carolina Hurricanes had to be feeling a bit confident with a
win over one of the best teams in the Western Conference prior to
embarking on a four-game trip against the conference.
The Hurricanes, however, have dropped the first two on the swing
and will try to end a four-game losing streak in Calgary on
Thursday night when they take on the Flames, who dismissed general
manager Paul Feaster earlier in the day.
Carolina (13-13-6) had been 3-6-7 against the West before a 5-3
win over San Jose last Thursday, but the Hurricanes followed that
with losses at Vancouver and Edmonton.
They haven’t faced the Flames since Dec. 6, 2011, and the two
last met in Calgary in January of that year. Since moving to
Carolina prior to the 1997-98 season, the Hurricanes have gone
Carolina rallied Tuesday, scoring three consecutive goals to
push the Oilers into overtime before a penalty cost them in the
extra session. Justin Faulk was sent to the box for boarding 19
seconds into OT, and Jordan Eberle scored the winner 89 seconds
“We’re a pretty resilient team,” Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller
said. “We have to look at the positives, we got a point. We got
outplayed in the first, and came back in the second. We had a
really good second and third. We got a really big point and
possibly could have had two.”
The team has lost only once in regulation this season when it
allows two or fewer goals, but is just 3-12-5 when opponents score
three or more. Offense has been an issue this season for Carolina,
which ranks near the bottom of the league with 74 goals.
Getting Alexander Semin back should provide a boost. The
Hurricanes activated the winger Thursday and he’s expected to play
for the first time since suffering a concussion Nov. 16 at St.
At the time of his injury, he shared the team lead with six
assists and was tied for second with nine points.
Fellow winger Jeff Skinner continued his strong play Tuesday.
After being named the NHL’s first star of the week Monday, Skinner
had a goal and assist in Edmonton.
He should have a good chance to keep it going against Calgary
(11-15-4), one of the worst defensive teams in the conference with
100 goals allowed. However, the Flames have been better in their
own end lately, surrendering eight goals in the past five
Karri Ramo, who started in goal for the first three games of
that streak but gave way to Reto Berra in the last two, will likely
start against Carolina.
“We have two goalies that can give us good minutes,” coach Bob
Hartley told the team’s official web site. “On top of playing those
guys to allow us to win, I’m trying to find out if the two of them
can carry the load as No. 1 goalies in the NHL or if one of them is
a better No. 1 and the best way to know this is to put them in key
Calgary had won three of four prior to a 2-1 home loss to Boston
on Tuesday. Berra stopped 22 shots for the Flames.
That proved to be the final game of Feaster’s tenure. Calgary
did not make the playoffs under Feaster, who became acting GM
midway through the 2010-11 season.
Brian Burke, the team’s president of hockey operations, will
serve as acting general manager. He said the moves were needed to
get the franchise back on track toward a championship.
”I wouldn’t have come (to Calgary) if that wasn’t the ultimate
goal,” he said. ”I have to look at the steps that have been taken
and figure out what’s the best way for us to get on that path. And
I reached the conclusion that we needed to make this change.”
The Flames will likely see the return of T.J. Galiardi, who has
been out since Nov. 20 because of back spasms. Galiardi has just
one goal and five assists on the season, but his presence gives the
team some much-needed depth, especially with two of its top scorers
– Sean Monahan (foot) and Curtis Glencross (knee) – out with
“I just was able to get myself back healthy and fresh and press
the reset button and now I’m ready,” Galiardi said.
After this contest, the Flames will leave on a five-game trip
against East opponents, while the Hurricanes close their swing in
Phoenix on Saturday.