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Monahan scores in 2-1 loss to visiting Carolina

by TY PILSON @typilson /

Despite a hard third-period push to tie the game, the Flames fell 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes at the Scotiabank Saddledome Friday night.

Sean Monahan had Calgary's marker while Mike Smith turned aside 31 shots in the loss, which dropped the Flames to 4-3 on the season.

Jeff Skinner and Justin Williams were the goalscorers for the visitors and big Scott Darling, all 6-foot-6 of him, made 25 saves, standing tall in the third period as the Flames tried to force overtime.

Carolina went 1-for-6 on the powerplay while Calgary had just one man-up chance, failing to score.

Moments after Brock McGinn beat Smith but not the post in the first period, clanging one off the iron and into the far corner, Skinner got the puck in the left faceoff circle and wired a slapshot high glove-side past Smith to open the scoring.

The 'Canes started the third period on a powerplay and capitalized 1:08 in the final frame, with Williams beating Smith on a quick shot.

With 3:28 left to play in the third period, Monahan got the Flames on the board when Johnny Gaudreau tapped a puck to him that he stepped into with a slapshot past Darling.

Jaromir Jagr picked up an assist on the play.

The newly formed line of Jagr, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau created a handful of solid scoring chances in the game, with Gaudreau and Jagr displaying especially good chemistry in the second and third periods.   

There was a scary moment for the Flames with 8:15 left to play in the first period. Off the faceoff, Kris Versteeg took a Skinner shot off the inside of his knee and immediately went down in obvious pain holding his leg.

The refs didn't blow the play down and Skinner eventually took another shot that hit Versteeg as he lay prone.

Versteeg had to be helped off the ice by teammates, unable to put pressure on right knee and but returned to the game in the second period.

ONE-TIMERS: Legendary Chuckwagon announcer Joe Carbury and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie were honoured as part of the pre-game ceremony. Both men passed away earlier this week … With one more game under his belt, Jagr is now 53 games away from passing Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe for the most NHL games played … With Friday's loss to the 'Canes, the Flames are now 0-2 against Eastern Division opponents this season … Smith needs just one more victory to hit 200 on his career.

NEXT UP: The Flames finish their two-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild Saturday night (8 p.m., TV: HNIC, Radio: Sportsnet960 The FAN).


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