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5 THINGS - FLAMES vs. HURRICANES

Flames aim to make it eight wins in a row when they host the 'Canes in a 2 p.m. matinee affair

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (18-12-4: 40 pts.) vs. 'CANES (19-11-2: 40 pts.)

2 p.m. | TV: Sportsnet West | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

 

Video: Setting up today's matinee tilt

 

 

NEED-TO-KNOW

2019-20 season series: 0-1-0-0

All-time regular-season record: 46-22-7-1  

Flames home record: 10-3-2

Hurricanes road record: 9-6-2

 

Special Teams:

Flames powerplay: 18.3% (16th)

Flames penalty-kill: 84.1% (7th)

Hurricanes powerplay: 22.8% (6th)

Hurricanes penalty-kill: 86% (2nd)

 

Current Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Sean Monahan (28)

Goals - Elias Lindholm (14)

Hurricanes:

Points - Andrei Svechnikov (34)

Goals - Sebastian Aho (18)

 

Advanced Stats:

Flames:    

Shot Attempts: 50.85% (10th)

High-Danger Chances: 49.40% (19th)

Hurricanes:

Shot Attempts: 54.8% (1st)

High-Danger Chances: 53.94% (5th)

 

1. US

Everything's Comin' Up Flames.

Calgary enters today's tilt on a seven-game winning streak and have collected points in their last nine games.

They are the hottest team in the league right now, an impressive 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.

They are coming off a 4-2 win over the visiting Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Down 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Flames scored three goals in the first 2:49 of the third period, two of them coming off the stick of Johnny Gaudreau , the other courtesy of Michael Frolik .

Travis Hamonic also scored for Calgary, while David Rittich was, well, Big Save Dave, making 32 stops in another stellar performance.

Not only was he a beast between the pipes, he had the best good-natured post-game chirp when asked by media about Gaudreau's recent play.

"I don't know," he joked. "He still can't score on me. I don't know if he's 'back.' I'm happy for him and hopefully he has more on his stick." 

The Flames penalty-kill continued to shine, holding the Leafs without a goal on 1:35 two-man advantage not long after their three-goal outburst in the third.

"It's been a bit of a theme lately, but our team's been pretty resilient for probably the last three hockey games," said interim coach Geoff Ward. "Tonight was no different. I think the added bonus for us tonight was, behind down going into the third period, they put a push on right at the beginning of the third and we were able to get them back on their heels and score a couple goals. I thought our group stayed composed, I thought they stayed on task, and I thought they played to the process. We didn't change what we were trying to do. We just kept playig, we just kept playing, and eventually we got rewarded for it."

Of note Friday, the Flames sent Matthew Phillips back to the Stockton Heat.

 

Video: Gaudreau's two goals propel Flames to 4-2 victory

 

2. THEM

After scoring six goals in each of their previous two games, the Hurricanes were held scoreless in a 1-0 OT loss to the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday.

They outshot the Canucks 43-26, but it was super sophomore Elias Pettersson with a tally just 40 seconds into extra time that proved the decisive factor in the contest.

That, and the goaltending of Jacob Markstrom.

"We hit a hot goalie. He was the difference in the game," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "You can sugarcoat it any way, that was the difference in the hockey game. He was phenomenal. So you tip your hat and you move on."

In the second period, Markstrom made 22 stops alone, as his team managed just seven at the other end fo the ice.

"It was just a matter of time before we were going to score. That's what it kind of felt like from my end," Brind'Amour said. "But that was a pretty good goalie performance, one of the better ones we've seen."

Prior to Thursday, Carolina had beat the Oilers 6-3 on Tuesday in Edmonton, and the Wild 6-2 at home on Saturday.

"It's always positive when you got points, especially on the road, but we wanted two points and we didn't get that, so we are disappointed," said goalie Petr Mrazek of the Vancouver result.

 

3. US vs. THEM

These two teams met way back on Oct. 29, the second game of a Calgary road trip that started in Regina three days earlier at the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.

Former 'Cane Lindholm staked Calgary out to a 1-0 lead at the 13:04 mark of the first period. There was no scoring in the second but in the third, Svechnikov scored a pair - at 9:13 and the dagger at 12:35 - to give Carolina a 2-1 victory.

The first of his two was the much ballyhooed 'lacrosse-style' goal that got a lot of play across the league.

"I actually practiced this move this morning, so it's a great try for me," said Svechnikov to NHL.com, who learned the move from his brother, Evgeny, a forward with the Detroit Red Wings. "I tried last year (against the New York Islanders), and I tried a couple years ago in the (Ontario Hockey League), but I got the crossbar."

Captain Mark Giordano summed up the game as a frustrating one. 

"They pressed really hard all game," he said. "I thought there were moments when we were really good, when we were making plays through the middle, and then when we got in trouble, we weren't making clean plays. You gotta give them credit. They are obviously a great team but I think we can be cleaner with our breakouts and execution but at the end of the day, it was a hard-fought game.

"They did get a pretty nice play by the guy from behind the net, I guess, and a powerplay goal, so that was the difference. I thought we had our looks, too, but when you score one, the mistakes get magnified. Tough way to lose."

 

Video: Condensed Game: Flames @ Hurricanes

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: The Flames are yet to lose since Ward took over as Interim Head Coach. He's the first head coach to start 6-0-0 as a mid-season replacement since Mario Tremblay with the Canadiens in 1995. ... THAT: Giordano moved into a three-way tie for fifth on the all-time list for assists in Flames franchise history with his one helper on Thursday. Gio is tied with Guy Chouinard and Paul Reinhart at 336 career assists. Gio is now also tied with Kent Nilsson for seventh all-time in points in Flames franchise history at 469 points … THE OTHER: Tonight, TJ Brodie will play in his 600th career NHL game. Brodie was drafted by the Flames in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Draft. 

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: C/RW Sean Monahan

Monahan extended his point-streak to eight games with his two-assist night Thursday. The 25-year-old now leads the Flames in scoring with 28 points (10G, 18A). During this eight-game-point-streak, Monahan has five goals and 10 points.  
 

Hurricanes: RW Andrei Svechnikov

He scored twice last time the clubs played and he leads the 'Canes in scoring. Prior to the shutout loss in Vancouver, he had two goals and four points in his previous three outings.

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