The Carolina Hurricanes’ season-opening, three-game winning streak was no match for Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Edmonton standouts each had a goal and three assists Thursday as the host Oilers defeated Carolina 6-4.
The Hurricanes will look to get back on track Saturday night in Calgary in the second half of their Alberta stop.
Carolina lost to Edmonton despite a hat trick from Andrei Svechnikov and three assists by Sebastian Aho. Goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots.
“(Thursday) was a tough game,” said the Hurricanes’ Martin Necas, who scored on the power play for his team’s other goal. “We didn’t play bad. We just gave up some easy goals, which against teams like that can cost you. We scored four goals and with four goals, we should win every night.”
Svechnikov said the loss dampened his first hat trick in the regular season. He scored three times against the New York Rangers in the 2020 playoffs.
“It’s fun to score a hat trick, but it’s tough when you’re losing,” Svechnikov said. “I think my teammates made nice plays for me, and my job is to be a shooter, and that’s what I was doing (Thursday). I just shot it on the net and tried to score some goals, but it was tough to lose this one for sure.”
After winning their season opener at home against Columbus, the Hurricanes are 2-1-0 on their five-game trip, with victories at San Jose and Seattle. They will conclude their West Coast swing with a game Monday at Vancouver.
“(Svechnikov) was pretty dominant. He was our one guy. That line was good, he was really good, but we didn’t have much from anyone else,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I thought it wasn’t enough. We gave them two goals, and you just can’t hand teams goals, especially this team. That’s the difference in the game for me.
“I think we got what we deserved in this game, but there were a couple of goals that we’d like to have back.”
The Flames are also coming off their first loss of the season, 6-3 Thursday against visiting Buffalo, as Alex Tuch had his first career hat trick and the Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin scored for the fourth straight game to set an NHL record for defensemen to open a season.
Andrew Mangiapane, Trevor Lewis and Nikita Zadorov scored for Calgary.
“You can’t take any team lightly, that’s for sure,” Mangiapane said. “I don’t think we played our game at all. Maybe a few spurts here and there but it wasn’t the best game from our group.”
Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped nine of 12 shots before being replaced by Dan Vladar, who made 17 saves.
“You gotta give (the Sabres) credit, they played a great game and they responded well,” Flames forward Nazem Kadri said. “We got one early in the third period and obviously they responded with a goal. So you gotta tip your cap, but it was a little too easy for them breaking through the neutral zone … that seemed to be a bit of an issue with us.”
The Flames played without defenseman Noah Hanifin because of an undisclosed injury. His status for Saturday’s game is uncertain.
The Flames’ Darryl Sutter is set to coach in his 1,402nd NHL game, breaking a tie with Ron Wilson for ninth in league history.
–Field Level Media