James Reimer put on a show Saturday afternoon as the Carolina Hurricanes finished off an Alberta sweep as part of their longest road trip of the season.
Reimer made 32 saves, including 13 in the final period, and recorded his second shutout of the season as the Hurricanes topped the Calgary Flames 4-0. Warren Foegele scored twice shorthanded in the third period for the Hurricanes, who have earned points in five straight games and six of seven.
After being shut out in an overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, the Hurricanes’ scoring drought moved past 90 minutes of game time before Brock McGinn broke the ice with what turned into the game-winning goal. Julien Gauthier earned his first NHL point with an assist on McGinn’s goal, which was challenged by Flames coach Geoff Ward for being offside but was ruled to be a legal goal.
Assessed a penalty for delay of game for the unsuccessful challenge, the Flames were down a man when two other infractions, to Jordan Staal for high-sticking and Mark Giordano for slashing, were whistled. Former Flame Dougie Hamilton took advantage of the reduced manpower, scoring his 12th of the season on a 4-on-3 power play to double the Hurricanes’ lead. The goal pulled Hamilton into a tie with the Capitals’ John Carlson for the league lead in goal scoring among defensemen.
The Hurricanes couldn’t avoid a parade to the penalty box in the third period, with three successive penalties resulting in a nearly constant penalty kill for almost seven minutes of game time. However, it was the visitors who took advantage, with Foegele scoring his fifth goal of the season on the third of the penalties, Jordan Staal in the box for a tripping call.
Lucas Wallmark then took a hooking penalty with 57 seconds remaining, forcing the Hurricanes to kill their fourth penalty of the period in the final minute. Foegele cashed in by hitting the empty net with three seconds remaining to record the second two-goal game of his career, and the first where both were scored shorthanded.
Reimer did the rest, keeping the game scoreless in the first period on a sprawling save to deny former Hurricane Noah Hanifin on the doorstep and registering his second shutout in less than a month. In his past six games, Reimer is 5-1 with a .948 save percentage and a 1.67 goals against average.
It was the first game since a 5-3 win over Boston last December that saw the Hurricanes score twice while shorthanded. The Hurricanes went 2-0-1 in their three games against the Oilers, Canucks and Flames, the second straight season they’ve earned five points against the three Western Canada teams. Those are the only two times in team history they’ve managed five points in the same trip against those three opponents. Coupled with the 2-1 Hurricanes win in Raleigh on October 29, the win marked the first season sweep of the Flames in franchise history in any season where the teams played two or more times.
David Rittich stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss, the first in five games for the Flames goaltender and the first for the Flames as a team since Ward replaced former coach Bill Peters on an interim basis on November 29.
The Hurricanes now have two days off before facing the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday in Manitoba.