The Carolina Hurricanes skated into a nightmare in Calgary last night as Andrew Alberts was injured early in the first period and things went downhill from there. Curtis Glencross scored his first career hat trick for the home team and the Flames beat the Canes, 4-1.
Ales Kotalik checked Alberts awkwardly into the boards behind the Carolina net just eight seconds into the defenseman's first shift of the night and number 41 lay prone on the ice for some time. He was later helped from the rink but did not return. There was no official word about the severity of the injury or when he might be able to skate again.
The Flames played a tough game and handed the Hurricanes a total of nine powerplays, but the visitors could only muster six shots on goal during those advantages and scored a single goal. The aggressive Calgary penalty kill registered seven shots on goal while shorthanded.
Trainer Pete Freisen spent a lot of time stitching up players as Eric Staal was hit in the face with a stick, then was nearly kicked in the face by his own teammate as Joni Pitkanen was checked head over heels into the Hurricanes' bench. Pitkanen's skate grazed Staal's face, cutting him, but it could have been much, much worse.
Then Brind'Amour took another stick to the face and had to leave as blood was dripping on his jersey. Tim Gleason and Aaron Ward both took shots to the leg that probably had to be numbed up as both left action for a bit, but came back.
It was just a miserable night for the team from Tobacco Road.
Carolina started off the game with no jump at all as Paul Maurice called a time out midway through the first period and yelled at his boys in an attempt to wake them up. During the first intermission the coach made a comment that it would be nice if the team moved their legs a bit.
Curtis Glencross scored the first of his three goals less than three minutes into the game, making the score 1-0.
Eric Staal tied the score during a powerplay in the second, as a Jussi Jokinen shot deflected in off of him at 7:19. The goal extended Staal's scoring streak to 10 games. Jokinen also stayed hot with points now in four straight games.
But that would be the end of the scoring for the Hurricanes.
The Flames would score two goals in less than a minute near the end of the period as Jarome Iginla fed Matt Stajan a perfect pass for an easy goal, then Glencross scored his second of the night on a blistering shot from the slot to make the score 3-1.
After a mostly unproductive third period for both teams, Glencross scored an empty netter at 18:58 to put the Canes out of their misery. It was another disappointing effort for the visitors, who now have lost their second game in a row.
Next up will be Buffalo on Friday night.
- The Canes were out-shot in each and every period and seemed a step behind Calgary all night long. Perhaps they were shook up over who might be traded and when the shoe will drop? They did not seem to have their collective heads in the game.
- Tim Gleason led the team with four blocked shots. Due to injuries to other players, he now seems to be a no-brainer replacement pick for Team USA. The official announcement could come as early as Thursday morning.
- Brett Carson and Patrick Dwyer each had four hits, high on the team.
Cam Ward made 35 saves on 38 shots and was kept busy most of the night.
- Joe Corvo played 23 plus minutes and had a pretty solid night considering it was his first game in more than two months.
- There is still no official word about Niclas Wallin and a possible trade to San Jose. He was healthy scratched Wednesday night and there has been a ton of speculation, but nothing official at the time of this posting.