NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 11th (All times eastern)
Calgary Flames (18-20-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (20-15-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to keep heading in the right direction when they host the Calgary Flames for this evening's battle at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes have won their last two games and they have gone seven straight (5-0-2) without a regulation loss. The surge has helped Carolina pull within three points of Montreal for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina was last in action Sunday against visiting Atlanta and the 'Canes posted an overtime win over their Southeast Division rivals. Erik Cole's tally at 2:09 of OT lifted the Hurricanes to the 4-3 decision at RBC Center.
Cole's game-winner occurred on a second-chance rebound. After his partial breakaway was turned aside by Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, the rebound rolled to the left wing near the goal line. Cole was able to retrieve the puck, skate in front and score inside the left post.
"Their defenseman just overskated the puck and we were able to jump on it," said Cole. "I just tried to snap it on the net and beat him on the short side."
Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and Zac Dalpe all tallied in regulation for the Hurricanes. Skinner, an 18-year-old rookie, has five goals over his last five games and he is leading all NHL freshman with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) this season.
Justin Peters started in place of the injured Cam Ward and stopped 25-of-28 shots in the win for Carolina. Ward, who is hampered by a lower-body injury, was able to serve as the backup on Sunday and is questionable for tonight's tilt.
Carolina forwards Jussi Jokinen and Ryan Carter are also questionable for tonight with upper-body injuries.
The 'Canes are 9-7-2 as the host this year and have lost three of their last five tests in Raleigh.
Calgary, which is just 7-12-3 as the guest this year, is kicking off a four- game road trip tonight. The Flames have six losses in their last eight games away from the Saddledome and will also make stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal during this swing.
The Flames lost their third straight game Friday evening, as they dropped a shootout decision against visiting Detroit. Todd Bertuzzi scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Red Wings the 5-4 decision at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Curtis Glencross scored two goals and had an assist for the Flames. Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist, while Anton Babchuk recorded a goal and two helpers. Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 23 saves in the loss.
"We did what we wanted to do against a very good hockey team," Calgary head coach Brent Sutter said. "It's disappointing we didn't get the other point as well as we played."
The game also featured a vicious hit by Calgary forward Tom Kostopoulos on Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart. Kostopoulos delivered a blow to the head of Stuart just after the midway point of the third period. Kostopoulos was handed a six-game suspension by the league for the hit and Stuart is expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks with a broken jaw.
The Flames posted a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes last season in Canada, improving Calgary's record to 5-2-0 with a tie in the last eight meetings with Carolina. Both clubs are 1-1-0 with a tie in the last three encounters at RBC Center.
01/11 11:04:09 ET