RALEIGH, NC — After a disappointing last-second loss on Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes were looking to get back on track Sunday afternoon against the Calgary Flames before going on their bye week. However, the Flames quickly doused any hopes of that for the ‘Canes by defeating them 4-1 at PNC Arena.
The Flames came out attacking quickly and were rewarded at the 6:01 mark of the first period with a goal from Matt Stajan, his first this season. Right before the end of the period, Calgary’s Dougie Hamilton netted one as well, sending the Hurricanes into the first intermission down two.
Despite holding the Flames to no goals in the second period, the Hurricanes could not get on the board with their 16 shots in the period on Flames goaltender Mike Smith, and the game continued to go from bad to worse for the ‘Canes in the third.
“I didn’t think we skated or had much emotional engagement to the game,” said Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters after the game. “I hope it’s flu-related, I really do. I thought we looked lethargic. We were slow with the puck and slow making decisions. If that’s the case, these five days come at the right time.
“I didn’t think we were engaged in the game, period,” continued Peters.
The Flames went on to score two more goals in the third period for a 4-0 lead before Carolina’s only goal of the game, from Lee Stempniak at the 15:29 mark of the third period, for the Hurricanes’ only goal of the game.
“You obviously wish it was two wins instead of two losses, but for me, I think it was good to get in a couple games before the break,” said Stempniak in describing the games today and on Friday against the Washington Capitals and getting back into the fold with the team.
Stempniak, who suffered from a myriad of injures that prevented him from making his season debut until earlier this week, has netted two points in the two games that he has played in. That, however, is one of the few brights spots of a game that saw the Hurricanes outclassed before an extended break.
“It’s never good going into a break with a loss,” said Carolina co-captain Jordan Staal. “We’ll have to unfortunately dwell on that for a little bit.”
After their five-day break, the Hurricanes will head out on the road to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Saturday night.