We often forget this because they only play the Calgary Flames twice a season, but the Carolina Hurricanes are a really good hockey club. They out-scored the Flames in every game situation en route to a rock-solid 4-0 victory on Saturday afternoon in the Saddledome.

The Rundown

The opening period was one of the Flames’ best opening 20s of the season. They played a structured, patient game but couldn’t bury their chances. Shots were 12-8 Flames and scoring chances 9-6 Flames.

The Hurricanes really imposed themselves in the second period, making some nice adjustments in the neutral zone that the Flames had trouble with. The Flames failed to get a clean clear in their own end, allowing Jordan Martinook to feed Brock McGinn for a redirect past David Rittich to make it 1-0 Hurricanes.

The Flames challenged on the basis of off-sides. Here’s the gist: Julien Gauthier couldn’t hold the puck into the zone, but because McGinn tagged up before Gauthier touched the puck in the offensive zone the play was still legal and the goal still counted.

The Flames drew a penalty on the ensuing delay-of-game advantage they gave Carolina, but then took a penalty to wash that penalty out and make things four-on-three. On that Carolina power play, Dougie Hamilton put a shot past Rittich’s glove to make it 2-0 Hurricanes.

Shots were 18-7 Hurricanes and scoring chances 14-6 Hurricanes in the second period. It wasn’t like things were going swimmingly before the failed challenge.

The Flames pressed at times in the third period, but Warren Foegele buried a blocked pass on a late Flames power play to increase the visiting team’s lead to 3-0. Foegele added an empty netter and the Canes held on for the road victory.

Shots were 13-9 Flames and scoring chances 9-6 Flames in the third period.

Why the Flames Lost

The Flames didn’t do a heck of a lot with the puck all game, but things got away from them quite a bit in the second period. Their puck management wasn’t as good as it was in prior games and Carolina’s speed in all three zones made life difficult.

In short? They lost because they were the second-best team in most game situations. The gap wasn’t massive, but Carolina was definitively better.

Red Warrior

Elias Lindholm was noticeable every time he hit the ice. He seemed energized playing against his old club.

The Turning Point

Undoubtedly, the 65 second sequence where the Flames allowed a goal, lost a challenge, drew a penalty, took a penalty, and allowed another goal, was one where the club was rattled for a little bit. The game got away from them and they never completely recovered.

The Numbers

Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.

Mangiapane 56.5 75.0 -0.075
Hamonic 53.3 62.5 0.175
Ryan 52.9 80.0 0.325
Jankowski 52.4 40.0 -0.150
Tkachuk 52.4 75.0 0.350
Kylington 52.4 75.0 0.100
Dube 50.0 80.0 0.000
Lucic 50.0 80.0 0.215
Rieder 50.0 40.0 0.040
Giordano 48.3 66.7 0.300
Brodie 48.3 66.7 0.250
Lindholm 47.6 75.0 0.720
Frolik 47.4 40.0 -0.200
Andersson 44.0 80.0 0.100
Monahan 39.1 80.0 -0.210
Gaudreau 37.5 80.0 -0.150
Hanifin 35.7 66.7 -0.225
Backlund 34.6 80.0 -0.195
Rittich 0.450

This and That

For the curious, the Situation Room’s verdict on the first Carolina goal:

Up Next

The Flames (18-13-4) are off tomorrow. They’re back in action on Tuesday evening when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.

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