Halfway through the road trip, the Hurricanes have added 4 points to their season total with two wins in Alberta. That’s right: Carolina is the King of Alberta now!
The @NHLCanes won in Edmonton on Tuesday & Calgary on Thursday, marking their first road sweep of the Alberta teams since 11/12-11/13/1997.— Mike Sundheim (@MikeSundheim) October 20, 2017
In the second leg of the Albertan trek, the Hurricanes secured a 2-1 victory against the Calgary Flames. Let’s check the footage and see exactly how that happened.
In the first period, neither the Hurricanes nor the Flames scored, but that didn’t mean there were good chances. Sadly, the best ones seemed to belong to the Flames, but thanks to some strong blocker pad saves, Scott Darling kept Calgary off the board. The Hurricanes especially allowed gold-star, forever-year veteran Jaromir Jagr to give Calgary something to cheer about, including on a missed assignment near the net (below) and a near-perfect assist that Darling broke up with his stick.
In the second period, after creating quite a few good chances to score, Skinner nearly had the goal secured, standing at the left post on cleanup duty, but the pass was broken up by a couple Flames. But as the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” A few seconds later, he puts it past ex-Coyote Mike Smith on a blazing slapshot high post.
Jeff Skinner would put up four shots on goal last night, but he was needed in a different capacity to begin the third period: Mr. Assist.
Just over a minute into the period, the Hurricanes were on a power play and regrouped after crashing the net. Noah Hanifin dumped it from the point to Skinner, who gave a slight hesitation shot fake and slid it cross-ice to Justin Williams, who had an easy time with Smith way out of position.
Though Calgary would go on to score with a late rally, they could never quite keep up the chances they produced early on in the first period due to penalties on penalties. The Flames spent 12 minutes total in the penalty box -- 20% of the game! Ultimately it gave the Carolina defense a breather and forced themselves into too much defensive zone work.
Once again, Carolina wins the shot battle 33-26, but this time I was more impressed by the shot chances. A couple of good breakaways, more chances from beside the net and overall better puck control, only giving the puck away four times to Calgary’s 13.
There’s a lot to be excited about watching last night’s game. Now it’s time for the second half of annual Extended First-Month Carolina Road Trip.