After breaking a three-game skid against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes looked to start a new streak against some familiar faces.
In their matinée showdown with the struggling Blackhawks, the Carolina Hurricanes recaptured some of the mojo that had escaped them. Statistically perfect showing on the power play and penalty kill, as well as a 32 save shutout from Petr Mrazek showed that Carolina wasn’t content to let their hot start slip away.
Enter the Calgary Flames. Struggling to tread water in the Western Conference, the Bill Peters-led Flames came into PNC Arena sporting a 2-2-1 record over their previous five games. That five-game stretch saw Calgary outscored 18-13.
The trio of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and former Hurricane Elias Lindholm were held to a total of nine points (4g, 5a). The goaltending tandem of Cam Talbot and David Rittich was inconsistent, ending that run with a save percentage of .899.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, matched the Flames’ five-game stint record while notching an equal number of goals scored to those given up (13). Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen, three of Carolina’s most potent offensive threats, totaled twelve points (4g, 8a) while the duo of Mrazek and James Reimer put up a .906% save percentage. Not a huge difference, as the records indicate.
For all the discipline issues that the Hurricanes have had, it’s been a bigger problem for the Flames. Entering Tuesday night’s game, Calgary was second in the league in penalty minutes per game (11.3), including 30 in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. Conversely, the Hurricanes came in at the number twelve spot, averaging 8.8 minutes per game.
With both teams set for puck drop, the match looked to be an even one. What are the three takeaways that shaped the game and determined the outcome?