Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters wasn’t completely pleased with a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames despite the lopsided score in Sunday’s game at PNC Arena.
Peters liked the five-goal outburst, as scoring has been a problem for the Canes in recent games.
He liked the penalty killing, which has been a strength, as the Canes stymied the Flames on all five power plays.
He liked the goaltending of Eddie Lack, who made his fourth straight start and had 33 saves.
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But the victory wasn’t as complete as Peters would have preferred. The Flames, playing the fourth of five straight road games, proved to be a tough out after falling behind 3-0 early in the second, after pulling starting goalie Karri Ramo.
“I thought we played the right way through the first 40 minutes,” Peters said. “I didn’t think we played the right way in the third (period) at all. All of a sudden they started coming and the shot total starting going (up) and the scoring chances … and we were on the wrong side of battles.
“We have to learn how to win. We still don’t quite have that figured out as a group. Our previous game in this building, the team that beat us knew how to win and shut the game down.”
That was the New York Rangers, who beat the Canes 4-1 on Friday, forcing mistakes and scoring off them.
“We have to learn how to win and shut the game down,” Peters said. “When it’s 3-1 at home going into the third period, you have to play properly.”
The Flames, who got a second-period goal from Jiri Hudler, pulled within 3-2 on Joe Colborne’s score five minutes into the third and Calgary continued to pressure. Lack’s stop on a Sean Monahan attempt 27 seconds after Colborne’s score may have been his biggest as the Flames had 15 shots in the period.
Versteeg’s second goal, on a power play at 11 minutes, 13 seconds of the third, gave the Canes (22-20-8) some breathing room.
Versteeg stuffed a rebound past goalie Jonas Hiller, drawing a challenge from Flames coach Bob Hartley claiming goaltender interference. The goal counted and Nordstrom’s score 32 seconds later sealed it for Carolina.
Rask scored unassisted in the first for a 1-0 lead, wheeling around center Markus Granlund for a shot. Lindholm then ripped a forehand past Ramo on the penalty shot at 17 minutes, 27 seconds of the first after being tripped on a breakaway by Kris Russell.
It was the Canes’ first penalty shot at PNC Arena since Jeff Skinner scored gainst New York’s Henrik Lundqvist on March 7, 2014.
Versteeg’s first goal, on an Eric Staal pass off the rush, pushed the lead to 3-0 and ended Ramo’s night.
“We were not ready, plain and simple,” Hartley said.
The Canes limited the Flames (21-22-3) to two shots on the five power plays. Peters credited his team’s execution; Hartley said the Flames mentally were not there.
“The last month or so we’ve been playing really well on the P.K.,” Lack said of the penalty killing. “Everyone is buying into the system and everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do.”
The Canes have one game left before the NHL All-Star break, hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
“It’s huge,” Peters said. “It’s an opportunity to feel good about yourself for a week or so."