Hurricanes blow out Flames

Hurricanes 2 Flames 1

CALGARY — Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Skinner opened the scoring in the second before setting up Justin Williams for the eventual winner 1:09 into the third.

Williams scored his first of the season on the power play when he got the puck near the face-off dot and as Mike Smith stacked his pads, the veteran put a shot under the crossbar.

Sean Monahan, with his team-leading fourth goal, scored for Calgary (4-3-0). The Flames are back in action on Saturday when they host Minnesota.

Carolina (3-1-1) improves to 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip that wraps up Saturday night in Dallas.

It was a listless effort from the Flames most of the night before mounting a late push starting with Monahan’s goal with 3:28 left in the third period.

Monahan spoiled Scott Darling’s shutout bid when he one-timed a Johnny Gaudreau pass inside the goal post.

Also assisting on the play was Jaromir Jagr. The 45-year-old, still looking for his first goal with Calgary, was also the victim on one of Darling’s best saves. In third period, Darling threw up his glove to stab Jagr’s dangerous chance from just a few feet away.

The Flames were guilty of missing the net too often. One minute into the game, Matthew Tkachuk ripped a slap shot high and wide as he broke in off the wing.

On a partial breakaway in the third period, Gaudreau shot wide, after which he could be heard cursing loudly.

Darling finished with 25 saves while at the other end, Smith had 31 stops.

The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead at 4:48 of the second period when Skinner got the puck in the slot and ripped a slap shot into the top corner.

It was the third goal in the last four games for Skinner, who leads the team in scoring.

In a scary incident halfway through the first period, Skinner hit veteran Kris Versteeg twice in a row with shots. First, he hit him in the knee. Just a few seconds later while Versteeg was down on the ice, writhing in pain, Skinner’s slap shot appeared to hit him in the helmet.

Versteeg had to be carried off the ice in an incident that fortunately looked scarier at the time then it turned out to be. Versteeg returned early on in the second.

Carolina scored once on six power plays while the Flames were scoreless on their lone attempt.

Notes: For the first time in his four games, Jagr played right wing on the Flames top line with Monahan and Gaudreau… Carolina defenceman Trevor van Riemsdyk (concussion) returned after missing three games… Sam Bennett has yet to pick up a point and is tied with Tkachuk for the team lead with 14 penalty minutes.

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