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Game Analysis: Hurricanes Avenge Earlier Loss To Flames

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The Carolina Hurricanes extended their point streak to six games with a convincing 4-1 win over Calgary at PNC Arena.

Justin Faulk matched a career high with three points in Monday’s 4-1 win over Calgary.
Justin Faulk matched a career high with three points in Monday’s 4-1 win over Calgary.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to know how different the November Hurricanes are from the previous month's incarnation, look no further than the team’s two performances against the Calgary Flames. The Canes paid back the Flames for a 5-0 road whipping on Oct. 23, dominating Calgary Monday en route to a 4-1 victory.

Three Observations

1. Another night, another win for Cam Ward. That makes it five straight starts with a win for Ward, who pushed his save percentage into the .900s and dropped his goals-against average to 2.53 by allowing just one goal — on the power play — in Carolina’s win over Calgary. Chances are Ward will be back between the pipes Thursday vs. Winnipeg.

2. Bill Peters won't look to Jay McClement to center Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner for the long haul, but the Carolina coach continues to push all the right buttons in leading his team out of the "Winless Eight" era and back into relevance. His moves also included moving Eric Staal to the wing, rewarding players like Boychuk with more ice time, and balancing the defensive minutes (Faulk had a team-high 21:39, while Gleason was the low among defensemen at a respectable 17:10).

3. The secondary scoring issues that have haunted Carolina in recent years haven't been a problem of late. While Skinner, Semin and Staal have just a combined six goals (still none for Semin), Riley Nash, Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk have 11 between them. Elias Lindholm and Jiri Tlusty have 11 more. And now Victor Rask seems to be coming on with two in the past five games. Toss in some defense scoring — after getting just two goals from the D the entire first 13 games, the Canes doubled that with two from the blue line Monday — and you have a recipe for three-plus goals a night.

Number To Know

1,058 — Days since Tim Gleason scored for the Hurricanes, a streak snapped when he added the nail in the coffin Monday with his third period goal. Gleason last scored Jan. 25, but that was with the Maple Leafs. His last goal with the Canes was Dec. 18, 2011. Monday’s goal was the 17th of Gleason’s career and 14th with Carolina — pushing him past Mike Commodore and Hall Of Famer Paul Coffey for the 15th most by a defenseman in Hurricanes history. Joe Corvo holds the record with 42, while Jay Harrison (21) and Justin Faulk (20) are the active leaders.

Plus

Justin Faulk — After playing maybe the worst hockey of his career to start his season, Faulk is now playing his best. The 22-year-old blueliner has 10 points in 14 games after a three-point night Monday. That ties him for 10th in the league for scoring by a defenseman, and Monday he outplayed both Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie — the NHL’s first- and third-leading defensive scorers, respectively — by a wide margin. Honorable mention to Boychuk, who not only got the Canes going with his first-period goal, but finished with a game-high five hits.

Minus

Nathan Gerbe — It's hard to find much fault in anyone’s play Monday, but Gerbe seemed to have a little too much cuteness to his game against the Flames. On three instances Gerbe was caught out-thinking himself in the offensive zone, either going for a difficult pass or attempting a Semin-esque cruise through the defense. He still finished with six shots, but it felt like he left at least one point out on the ice.

Notes

The Hurricanes reassigned Michal Jordan to Charlotte Tuesday, a day after recalling him as an insurance policy when Brett Bellemore was ruled out for Monday’s game and both Gleason and John-Michael Liles were game-time decisions. Jordan was a healthy scratch vs. the Flames. Here's the release from the team.

‘CANES ASSIGN MICHAL JORDAN TO CHARLOTTE
Defenseman was recalled on Monday but did not play against Calgary

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has reassigned defenseman Michal Jordan (MIH-kahl yohr-DAHN) to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Jordan was recalled to Carolina on Monday, but did not play in the Hurricanes’ 4-1 win at PNC Arena against Calgary.

Jordan, 24, has totaled two assists in 10 games for the Checkers this season. The Zlin, Czech Republic, native is in his fifth professional season, after earning AHL career highs in assists (21) and points (25) in 2013-14 with the Checkers. Carolina’s third selection, 105th overall, in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Jordan has appeared in five career games with the Hurricanes, all during the 2012-13 season.