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Hurricanes seek rare road win in Calgary

by Eric Goodman

HURRICANES (13-13-6) at FLAMES (11-15-4)


Last 10: Carolina 5-3-2; Calgary 5-4-1

Season series: This is the first of two games. The Calgary Flames have a four-game home winning streak against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Big story: The Hurricanes have lost two in a row on the road (0-1-1), and the Flames seek to avoid a three-game home losing streak. Carolina and Calgary were tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals entering Wednesday with six. Hurricanes captain Eric Staal will try to keep his strong play against Calgary going; the center is averaging a point per game in seven career games against the Flames.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina continues its four-game trip through part of the West Coast and will look for a stronger start than in its most recent game Tuesday, a 5-4 overtime loss at the Edmonton Oilers. The Hurricanes were behind 4-1 at Edmonton but forced overtime with three unanswered goals, including a shorthander by Staal.

"We showed a lot of resiliency coming back and getting it to 4-4 and having some good chances to win it in regulation despite all the penalties we had to kill," Staal said. "It's tough to lose it in overtime when you battle back to tie the game."

Carolina has not scored the first goal in its past three games and will try to turn it around against a Calgary team that has received solid goaltending recently, with an average of 1.6 goals against in its past five games.

Flames: Calgary wraps up its quick two-game homestand when Carolina visits and will attempt to extend its home winning streak against the Hurricanes to five. Despite the strong play of goalies Reto Berra and Karri Ramo, the Flames have lost two of their past three games due to a lack of offense. Calgary is averaging 1.66 goals over its past three.

It was an emotional night in Calgary on Tuesday when Flames all-time leading scorer Jarome Iginla returned to Scotiabank Saddledome with the Boston Bruins. One goal by Calgary was not enough to hold off a third-period surge by the Bruins in a 2-1 loss.

"We know that they have some pretty big superstars over there but we didn't really care for the first 40 minutes. Then I think we just sat back and let them kind of take it to us in the third period," forward Joe Colborne said.

The Flames assigned forward Lane MacDermid to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League on Tuesday after one NHL game.

Who's hot: Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner has eight points (six goals, two assists) in his past five games. … Flames center Jiri Hudler is in the midst of a four-game point streak, with two goals and three assists.

Injury report: Carolina defensemen Joni Pitkanen (heel surgery) and Mike Komisarek (lower body), and goalie Anton Khudobin (lower body) on injured reserve,  but forward Alexander Semin (concussion) was activated Thursday. Defenseman Brett Bellemore (concussion) is expected to miss the game Thursday, and forward Drayson Bowman (ankle) is questionable. … On injured reserve for Calgary are forwards Curtis Glencross (sprained MCL), TJ Galiardi (back spasms) and Sean Monahan (fractured foot), and defenseman Dennis Wideman (broken hand).

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