(SportsNetwork.com) – Calgary doesn’t seem the ideal place for the Carolina
Hurricanes to pick up their first win of the season.
Nonetheless, the ‘Canes look to beat the Flames as the visiting team for the
first time in nearly 12 years on Thursday night as the clubs clash at the
Carolina has gone winless through its first five games of the season for the
first time since going 0-5-0 in 1987-88 when the franchise was known as the
Hartford Whalers. The Hurricanes are 0-3-2, following up a pair of shootout
losses with a 3-1 setback to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.
Jiri Tlusty scored on the power play in the first period, but that came after
the Hurricanes allowed two goals in the game’s first three minutes.
“The start obviously wasn’t what we were looking for at all,” said Carolina
first-year head coach Bill Peters after his club dipped to 0-3-2 on the year.
Anton Khudobin stopped 23 shots in his second straight start.
Carolina did see the return of forward Jeff Skinner to the lineup after he
missed the first four games with a concussion. However, both Jordan and Eric
Staal remain out with injury, though Eric Staal could return from his upper-
body injury next week.
The Hurricanes play the third contest of a five-game road trip tonight and
will visit Edmonton on Friday.
First, they’ll try to earn their first victory in Calgary since Dec. 12, 2002.
They have lost five straight trips since while losing three straight and seven
of the last nine meetings overall.
With Carolina also in action Friday night, it seems likely that both Khudobin
and Cam Ward will get starts. It is unknown which of the two will get the call
tonight as Ward is 2-2-0 with a 3.87 goals against average and .869 save
percentage in five previous meetings.
Khudobin has lost his only career start versus Calgary, but gave up just two
goals on 29 shots.
The Flames come in having lost the opener of a five-game homestand on Tuesday,
2-1 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning. That setback came on the heels of
a 4-2-0 road trip.
Karri Ramo made 20 saves, but gave up the game-tying goal with 2:16 to go in
regulation and the winner three minutes into overtime.
Defenseman Dennis Wideman scored his third goal in four games off a nice setup
from Johnny Gaudreau, who knifed through the middle of the ice before dishing
to the defender while on the power play.
“Johnny basically drew everyone in the rink to him,” Wideman said.
Ramo is 3-2-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .933 save percentage in five previous
meetings with the Hurricanes, including four starts. Fellow Flames netminder
Jonas Hiller is 3-1-0 with a 1.97 GAA and .940 save percentage in four prior