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New-look Flames host Hurricanes

by John Kreiser

HURRICANES (19-29-7) at FLAMES (27-21-8)

Last 10 -- Carolina 5-5-0; Calgary 1-7-2

Season series -- This is the only meeting between the teams in 2009-10. The Hurricanes won 6-1 at the RBC Center in their lone game in '08-09. The Hurricanes haven't visited the Pengrowth Saddledome since losing 3-0 on Dec. 5, 2006.

Big story -- Having made one big trade on Sunday, the Flames made another after Monday's 3-0 loss to Philadelphia, sending center Olli Jokinen and rugged forward Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers for forwards Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, both of whom struggled to score in New York. That means six of the 18 skaters likely to dress for the Flames against Calgary weren't with the team just four days ago.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes -- The Hurricanes saw their four-game winning streak end Monday night with a disappointing 4-2 loss at Edmonton, a game that saw the Oilers snap a 13-game losing streak.

Cam Ward, playing in his home city, made 23 saves on 27 shots after posting a 1.25 goals-against average in the four-game run. Ward has been the biggest factor in the Hurricanes' recent surge.

"Cam has really been the difference for us the last two weeks but he wasn't at his 'A' game best," coach Paul Maurice said. "But we have to put more than two in, as well."

Flames -- The Flames looked lost at times against the Flyers on Monday, losing for the 10th time in 11 games as they struggled to deal with Sunday's trade that brought in four newcomers and sent star defenseman Dion Phaneuf to Toronto. Adding two more new faces to a team battling to make the playoffs won't be easy: The popular Jokinen had 11 goals and 24 assists for Calgary while Prust added a physical element.

"Olli was one of my better friends on the team," forward Eric Nystrom told the team's Web site. "It's tough seeing this side of the business, but they're trying to get our team going in the right direction and if these are the moves they have to make, then as players we just have to accept it. We don't have much of a say."

Who's hot -- Carolina center Eric Staal, elevated to captain Jan. 21, had an assist in Edmonton to extend his point streak to nine games. He has 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points in that span. … Though he was blanked on Monday, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla has 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in his last four games.

Injury report -- Carolina forwards Scott Walker, Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole are still out with upper-body injuries. Defenseman Joe Corvo (leg) is hoping to return before the Olympic break. … Flames forwards David Moss (shoulder), Nigel Dawes (leg) and Craig Conroy (knee) are out indefinitely.

Stat pack -- Calgary has been a house of horrors for the Hurricanes' franchise, which is 5-21 with 2 ties all-time (including its days as the Hartford Whalers) since the Flames moved from Atlanta in 1980.

Puck drop -- Program sales at the Saddledome should be brisk as Calgary fans try to figure out who's who on the new-look Flames. But coach Brent Sutter, whose team is scrambling for a playoff berth, won't have much time to get everyone on the same page. A win over the Hurricanes, who've spent most of the season in the NHL's cellar, is vital to get the team back on the right track.

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