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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, December 12th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (13-13-6) at Calgary Flames (11-15-4), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - After consecutive losses to begin a four-game road trip, the Carolina Hurricanes hope to pick up a win when they visit the Calgary Flames for Thursday's clash at the Saddledome.

The Hurricanes carried a three-game winning streak into this current trek, but lost 2-0 at Vancouver on Monday before dropping a 5-4 overtime decision the following night in Edmonton.

However, Carolina did do a good job to even earn a point in Tuesday's setback, as they fell behind 4-1 to the Oilers before mounting a comeback. The Staal brothers -- Jordan and Eric -- each scored a goal to cut the deficit to 4-3 and Jeff Skinner tied it late in the third for Carolina.

Eric Staal's short-handed tally came 7:47 into the third period and Skinner's tying marker was at the 14:46 mark. However, Jordan Eberle notched a power- play goal at 1:48 of OT to deliver the 5-4 victory for the hometown Oilers.

"We showed some good jump battling back into the game," said Eric Staal. "Unfortunately, we had to kill a lot of penalties."

In addition to goals from the Staals and Skinner, Carolina also received a tally from Tuomo Ruutu. Cam Ward took the loss after yielding all five goals on 29 shots.

The loss dropped Carolina to 6-7-2 as the visiting team this season. The 'Canes will complete the swing Saturday in Phoenix before playing three of their next four in Raleigh.

Calgary, meanwhile, enters Thursday having lost two of three and the Flames were stung by the former face of their franchise in Tuesday's 2-1 loss against Jarome Iginla and the Boston Bruins.

Iginla's return to Calgary was a triumphant one, as the Bruins overcame a 1-0 deficit with a pair of late goals to down the Flames. Reilly Smith potted the game-winner for Boston with 4:33 left to play, a mere 98 seconds after David Krejci recorded the equalizer with the Bruins on the power play.

Iginla, the Flames' all-time leader in goals (525), points (1,095) and games played (1,219), faced the club he spent 16 highly productive seasons with for the first time since Calgary traded its longtime captain to Pittsburgh during last April's trade deadline. The revered 36-year-old received a warm and rousing ovation from the home crowd during introductions.

"It brought back a lot of great memories," Iginla said of his return.

Jiri Hudler had the lone goal for Calgary, which received 22 saves from Reto Berra in a losing cause.

"I think the best way to describe this is a lack of maturity," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said of his team allowing Boston to get back in the game in the third.

It was the third loss in Calgary's last four home games, dropping the club to 5-7-3 at the Saddledome this season.

This evening's game marks the first meeting between the 'Canes and Flames since Calgary posted a 7-6 home win on Dec. 6, 2011. Iginla scored twice for the Flames in that win.

Calgary has taken five of seven from Carolina overall and the Hurricanes have dropped four straight and five of six at the Saddledome. Carolina's last win in Calgary came on Dec. 12, 2002.

12/12 10:53:01 ET