RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)Andrei Svechnikov scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes returned to action after nearly a week layoff by beating the Calgary Flames 6-3 on Friday night.
Brady Skjei had a goal and two assists, while Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast and Tony DeAngelo also scored and Steven Lorentz had two assists for Carolina, which won for the ninth time in 10 games and moved past Washington and the New York Rangers into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
Frederik Andersen stopped 36 shots while playing a full game for the first time in nearly three weeks.
”I kind of figured that was going to happen,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of a slow start. ”You just come off that long break. As much as you talk about it, you’ve got to be in the rhythm and it just took us a while. (Andersen) kept us in the game the first period.”
Blake Coleman and Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for the Flames, who’ve lost three straight for their longest stretch without a point this season.
”We had a five-game trip,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. ”You go on long trips, you try to get more points than games played. Tonight would have given us six (points) in five, so we fell short. We got four in five.”
Dan Vladar stopped 31 shots while appearing in back-to-back-games for only the second time this season after suffering the loss in Thursday night’s 4-1 defeat at Tampa Bay.
The Hurricanes hadn’t played since Saturday because of a postponement. They endured a ragged first period before Stepan, Svechnikov and DeAngelo scored in a five-minute stretch of the second to take a 4-1 lead.
”We came out a bit of a different team after that first period,” said Fast, who played in his 500th career game. ”We deserved the lead we got in the second period.”
Tkachuk scored his 13th of the season with 6:34 left in the second – less than a minute after DeAngelo’s goal – and Gaudreau cut Carolina’s lead to 4-3 with 11:03 to play.
Skjei scored with 1:52 left and Svechnikov got his second of the game and 12th of the season less than a minute later on a power play to cap the scoring.
The Flames went 0 for 4 on power plays. It marked just the second time this season that Calgary didn’t produce a power-play goal when it had at least four chances with a man advantage.
”Their penalty killing, how aggressive they are,” Sutter said.
ALL BETS ARE OFF
Skjei has three goals in his last two games.
”I’ve obviously had some pretty good looks coming right down the slot,” he said. ”Hopefully, I keep finding those spots.”
Because of a late scoring change on the assists for Svechnikov’s first goal, Skjei ended up with three points for just the second time in his career. The other came in March 2017.
”We’ll see how long this lasts,” he said of the offensive production. ”I would say the betting odds of that lasting are pretty small.”
GIVE IT A SHOT
Calgary had 21 shots in the first period, marking the most allowed in any this period by the Hurricanes.
”It’s not even that we were slow, it was we weren’t up to speed,” Brind’Amour said. ”The second period was the exact opposite. It totally flipped. We kind of had our legs.”
The Flames managed only 18 shots the rest of the way. Yet Calgary’s 39-27 overall edge in shots meant the Hurricanes failed to post more shots on goal than their opponent for the first time in the last seven games.
The Flames dipped to 8-1-2 against teams from the Metropolitan Division with their first regulation setback in those encounters. They fell to Carolina in overtime last month at home.
Calgary also dropped to 3-1-1 in the second games of outings on back-to-back days.
Flames: Host Ottawa on Thursday night.
Hurricanes: Host Florida on Saturday night.