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Game Nine Preview: Calgary hosts Hurricanes

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The Flames hope to continue their historical mastery over the Hurricanes (Whalers) franchise.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

This evening at 7PM, the Flames will continue their first homestand of the year at the Scotiabank Saddledome. They’ll face off against the Carolina Hurricanes for the first of two contests this season, with the rematch in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 10th. They’re in the second show of a five-game homestretch. They started out with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. They’ll continue against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, and the Nashville Predators on Halloween. The Canes will be playing in the middle game of a five-game road trip. They lost in a shootout to the New York Rangers last Thursday and 3-1 on Tuesday to the Winnipeg Jets. They’ll continue with matches against the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow and the Vancouver Canucks next Tuesday.

The last time these two faced off was January 13th in the middle of last season. The Flames won the contest, 2-0 behind goals from Mikael Backlund (7) and Sean Monahan (13). Karri Ramo, turned aside all 23 Hurricanes shots for his first career shutout. Anton Khudobin took the loss for the Canes, making 27 saves on 29 shots. * Box Score * Full Recap

Ramo discussed his first shutout later:

Hockey is hockey, and for a goalie, it's not so much more different (in the KHL). It's pretty much the same job wherever you go. It's basically just a high-level game, so it helps a lot. You think about playing a bunch of games, but not having finished one without a goal. So, it's good to get it out of the way. Everyone knows the situation. You just have to focus and play normally

You can find more about the Hurricanes at Canes Country.

In Calgary's last game action, the Flames skated the Tampa Bay Lightning scoreless through two periods before Johnny Gaudreau skated through the entire team and finished with a perfect setup for Dennis Wideman for a 1-0 lead. Ramo had a shutout until there was 2:16 left in regulation, when Valtteri Filippula redirected a Jason Garrison shot for the equalizer. Jonathan Drouin earned his first NHL point on the play, with a secondary assist. Ondrej Palat sealed the deal for the Bolts in overtime for the 2-1 win. Ramo finished with 20 saves, Evgeni Nabokov earned the win with 21. * Box Score * Full Recap

Flames captain Mark Giordano discussed the Flames loss:

We had two breakdowns there on their two goals. Especially with a couple minutes left, we have to be better than that. We have to learn from that. That's a tough one to swallow right now. We'll take the point and learn from that, I guess. We've just to got to find a way. It was a tough way to lose [Tuesday]. We felt like we should have come out with two points.

There's more about the Lightning at Raw Charge.

Carolina earned their fifth loss in their first five games on Tuesday night, in a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, and Adam Lowry earned markers for the Jets, while Jiri Tlusty had the only goal for the Hurricanes. Anton Khudobin stopped 23-of-26 shots in the loss, while Ondrej Pavelec made 21 saves for his second win of the season. * Box Score * Full Recap

Carolina coach Bill Peters had some thoughts about the Hurricanes' slow start to the season:

The start was obviously wasn't what we were looking for at all. Then I thought we got away from [our game plan] a little bit. We got away from our structure and then we were freelancing, and it just made it harder than it needs to be.

For more on Winnipeg (I can't imagine why you would want to go there, but it takes all types...), go to Arctic Ice Hockey.

GameTime: 7PM MT

Where2Watch: SPSO, SNF

All-Time Record: Historically, the Flames have the Carolina Hurricanes / Hartford Whalers number, with a 40-17-8 all-time record. They've outscored the Canes by an average of a goal per game since the Whalers joined the NHL.

Current Record

Calgary Flames: 4-3-1, nine points, on pace for 92 points, fifth in the Pacific Division, eighth in the Western Conference, 18th in the NHL. Last Five: W-W-L-W-O. Playoff Odds: 55.9%

Carolina Hurricanes: 0-3-2, two points, on pace for 33 points, eighth in the Metropolitan Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference, 29th in the NHL. Last Five: L-L-O-O-L. Playoff Odds: 22.8%

Milestones

Kris Russell needs three more assists to earn his career 100th. Jiri Hudler is one point short of 300 for his career, Dennis Wideman is just one point behind him, with 298.

Elsewhere

Seven other games fill the bill in action tonight in the NHL.

New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins, 7PM
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings, 7:30PM
Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues, 8PM
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators, 8PM
Arizona Coyotes vs. Minnesota Wild, 8PM
Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings, 10:30PM
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks, 10:30PM

Probable Starting Lineups

Calgary Flames

Line 1

Joe Colborne

Sean Monahan

Jiri Hudler

Line 2

Johnny Gaudreau

Mikael Backlund

Mason Raymond

Line 3

Curtis Glencross

Matt Stajan

Paul Byron

Line 4

Brandon Bollig

Lance Bouma

Josh Jooris

Defensive Pair 1

TJ Brodie

Mark Giordano

Defensive Pair 2

Kris Russell

Dennis Wideman

Defensive Pair 3

Ladislav Smid

Deryk Engelland

Starting Goalie

Jonas Hiller

Reserve Goalie

Karri Ramo

Carolina Hurricanes

Line 1

Jiri Tlusty

Riley Nash

Alexander Semin

Line 2

Jeff Skinner

Victor Rask

Elias Lindholm

Line 3

Chris Terry

Jay McClement

Zach Boychuk

Line 4

Ryan Murphy

Patrick Brown

Brad Malone

Defensive Pair 1

Andrej Sekera

Justin Faulk

Defensive Pair 2

Jay Harrison

Tim Gleason

Defensive Pair 3

Ron Hainsey

Brett Bellemore

Starting Goalie

Cam Ward

Reserve Goalie

Anton Khudobin

Flames Leaders

Average Time on Ice: Defensemen; TJ Brodie - 25:15, Mark Giordano - 24:16
Forwards; Mikael Backlund - 18:21, Curtis Glencross - 17:28, Mason Raymond - 17:12

Goals: Mason Raymond - 5, TJ Brodie, Dennis Wideman - 3

Assists: Joe Colborne - 6, Mark Giordano - 5, TJ Brodie - 4

Points: TJ Brodie, Mason Raymond - 7, Joe Colborne, Mark Giordano - 6

Penalty Minutes: Deryk Engelland - 13, Ladislav Smid - 11, Mark Giordano - 9

Shots-on-Goal: Mason Raymond - 21, Sean Monahan - 20, TJ Brodie - 17

Faceoffs: Sean Monahan (68-of-129) - 52.7%, Mikael Backlund (93-of-181) - 51.4%, Joe Colborne (59-of-122) - 48.4%

Hits: Curtis Glencross - 23, Brandon Bollig - 22, Lance Bouma - 17

Blocked Shots: Kris Russell - 27, TJ Brodie - 18, Mark Giordano - 16

Keep checking back with us throughout the day for continued coverage of all your Flames news. The GameThread goes live 30 minutes before the puck drops, the recap soon after the game, and the deep stats recap tomorrow morning. Follow us on Twitter, "like" us on FaceBook, and keep a bookmark at M&G.