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Power play falters, Canes burned by Flames

The Carolina Hurricanes squandered a 2-0 lead Saturday night in Calgary, falling 3-2 in overtime.

Carolina Hurricanes v Calgary Flames Photo by Leah Hennel/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes blew an early 2-0 lead Saturday night in the Saddledome, ultimately falling 3-2 to the Calgary Flames in overtime.

Special teams play doomed the Canes, as Carolina went 0 for 4 on the power play in the contest including a late four-minute man advantage in the third period. Nazem Kadri netted a power-play goal for the home team, while Brett Ritchie also scored in regulation. Tyler Toffoli tallied the overtime winner for the Flames.

For Carolina, Sebastian Aho stayed hot with another goal and Calvin de Haan scored his first of the year, but an overall inability to capitalize on chances cost the Canes their second straight game in Alberta.

Antti Raanta stopped 29 of 32 shots faced in Carolina’s net, while Jacob Markstrom collected 25 saves on 27 shots faced.

The Canes did not take long to open up the scoring in the first period, as Aho stayed hot and unleashed a display of individual brilliance to make it 1-0. Aho flew past his former teammate, Noah Hanifin, to crash the net, where he used a filthy move to beat Markstrom five-hole.

The Canes doubled that lead later in the first period, as de Haan netted his first goal in his second stint with Carolina to make it 2-0. The Hurricanes did a great job of maintaining possession of the puck in the offensive zone, and Paul Stastny got it out to the point for de Haan. The defenseman rifled a rocket past Markstrom for his first of the season.

The Flames evened things up shortly after, as Kadri earned a pretty soft penalty against Jordan Staal and scored the power-play goal himself. Then early in the second period, Ritchie rifled one past Raanta from the goal line, one the Canes’ netminder will certainly want back, to tie things up at 2-2.

It looked for a minute like Carolina was going to carry a 3-2 lead into the second intermission, thanks to a fantastic play from Aho to allow a line change to bring on Derek Stepan. Aho patiently skated the puck up the boards and centered it for Stepan, who deposited the puck into the back of the net.

However, Calgary challenged the play for offside successfully, as Aho entered the zone ahead of the puck nearly 30 seconds prior to the goal being scored.

The Canes squandered a prime opportunity to win the game late in the third period, as Blake Coleman drew blood from Brent Burns and handed the Canes a four-minute power play with just 6:30 left in the game.

And while the Canes had some good looks late in the extended man advantage, they couldn’t find the back of the net in a situation where they really needed to. The power play on the whole was pretty bad.

Toffoli scored late in a pretty tightly contested overtime period, securing two points for the home team while the Canes earned one.

Carolina will wrap up the road trip Monday night in Vancouver.