The Carolina Hurricanes can’t stop winning.
The Canes started their game against the Flames at the PNC Arena on Friday night but left the first period a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal from Jesper Fast, who played in his 500th NHL game.
Carolina stepped in after three goals in a row from Derek Stepan, Andrei Svechnikov and Tony DeAngelo in the second period gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead, which Calgary reduced to 4-3 but could not fully overcome.
Brady Skjei, who had a three-point night, scored a 5-3 game late in the third period, and Svechnikov added his second of the evening shortly afterwards. Blake Coleman, Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau were the goal scorers for the Flames.
Despite the three lost goals, Frederik Andersen was fantastic for the Hurricanes between the pipes and did everything in the early stages to keep the Flames on just one goal. In total, Andersen stopped 36 of 39 shots. Dan Vladar was the lost goal who made 31 saves from 37 shots.
To be very clear, the start of this game for the canes was a big old burning pile of … yes. Carolina came out on his heels, spinning the puck at every opportunity, and giving Calgary some early chances.
The Flames scored the game with an opening goal of 5:12 when a catastrophic turnover from Jordan Staal brought Coleman and the easy lane in the net to the goal. Carolina kept fighting, building up an ugly powerplay and killing a Teuvo Teravainen penalty thanks to Andersen and Andersen alone.
But after the final media hiatus of the first third, when Rod Brind’Amour had a few words on the bench for his team, the canes came out and looked pretty good. Returning to their game, Carolina scored a huge game-defining goal from Fast, who scored in his 500th NHL game after channeling a shot from Brett Pesce past Vladar.
Taking the first break tied up after the first 15 minutes of hockey was an absolute boon to the Hurricanes, and Carolina rode it in the middle.
The Canes actually struggled to open the second section again, but the floodgates opened when Carolina scored three goals in five minutes and took a 4-1 lead. The first came from Stepan, his fourth of the season, as he picked up a loose puck in the middle of the ice and pushed it past Vladar after Steven Lorentz hit the net hard.
Less than two minutes later, Svechnikov doubled Carolina’s lead when a fairly weeklong shot ran through Vladar and over the line. Svechnikov made a great move to control the puck in the neutral zone, carry it into the zone and take a shot. Pucking pucks is always good folks.
It was 4-1 a few minutes later when a scramble outside Calgary’s net resulted in DeAngelo rebounding home after Sebastian Aho nearly scored a goal.
The Flames scored a big goal less than a minute later and, thanks to Tkachuk, cut it down to a 4-2 game before the second break. And then nine minutes into the third period, Calgary brought out an incredible set to make it 4-3.
Erik Gudbranson controlled the puck behind Calgary’s net and delivered an inch-perfect stretch pass to Gaudreau, who had flashed behind a blown cover of the canes to score a one-on-one shot with Andersen. He wasn’t missing.
Shortly after Gaudreau’s goal, the Hurricanes faced a major task when Svechnikov went into the penalty area to hold. The canes’ PK was phenomenal, as it had been all night, calmly clearing the puck as soon as Calgary was close to settling it in the offensive zone.
After an empty power play, the Hurricanes hit the insurance goal they were looking for with even greater strength as Skjei remained on fire with his third goal in the last two games and his third point of the evening. Skjei shot past Vladar to make it 5: 3.
Svechnikov made the 6-3 shortly afterwards when Carolina erased an ugly start against the Flames.
The Canes will be back on Saturday night as they host the Florida Panthers.