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Slow Start Dooms Carolina: Flames 7, Hurricanes 6

The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their seventh straight game on Tuesday night, 7-6, as they fell behind the Calgary Flames early, and never fully recovered.

The Flames controlled play early, almost like they were on a powerplay, and had 10 shots on goal and a 1-0 lead before the visitors seemed to know what hit them. The home team went on to score again late in the first, then lit the lamp another time just 42 seconds into the second period, to take a 3-0 lead.

Jiri Tlusty was awarded a penalty shot 5:39 into the second and then made a nice move on Miikka Kiprusoff to score Carolina's first goal of the night. Tim Brent would then score at 13:16 into the period, making the score 3-2, but the Flames seemed to turn on their offense whenever they needed it on this night.

Less than a minute later, Rene Bourque broke into the clear to put the Flames back up by two. Calgary would score again, just a minute and change into a wild and crazy third period, which made the score 5-2.

The Canes did not give up. Tuomo Ruutu scored off a nice Jamie McBain move. Eric Staal scored twice and Chad LaRose scored in the final minute. But all in all, regardless of the score, this game was never really close.

The Canes scored twice in the last minute to make it look respectable, after the Flames had scored an empty netter.

Cam Ward was pulled with 8:37 left in the game after allowing six goals on 32 shots. Mike Murphy made his NHL debut and stopped the two shots he faced, the rest of the way.

The Canes will next face Edmonton on Wednesday night.

Game Notes:

  • Much of the first period was not very good for Carolina. They skated a bit harder in the second and the third turned into a pond hockey game as a total of seven goals were scored.
  • Staal had a three point night, (2G 1A), and had a team high eight shots on goal.
  • Tomas Kaberle finished with two assists and a team high +3.
  • The Flames officially went 1-2 on the powerplay while Carolina went 0-3.
  • Carolina had a paltry eight hits on the night led by Brandon Sutter with two.
  • They had 16 blocked shots, led by Derek Joslin with three.
  • The team won 57% of their faceoffs. (Staal, 56%, Ruutu, 20%, Sutter 60%, Jokinen 65%, Brent 60%)
  • Nodl was healthy scratched and the Canes went with seven defensemen. Jay Harrison did not make the trip.
  • Staal had a team high 24:02 of ice time. Justin Faulk led all blueliners at 21:41. Joni Pitkanen played eight minutes and change and left the game early with an undisclosed injury.

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