The Calgary Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes by a 3-2 score (in overtime) on Tuesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames keep their momentum going into the break
It’s been said, and said often, but the Flames keep finding ways to win games. Sometimes they win track meets. Sometimes they grind it out. Sometimes their goaltender isn’t feeling it and they have to score a lot. Sometimes they had to eke out close ones.
Once again, the Flames weren’t perfect, but they found a way to win in a game that lacked a lot of flow.
“I thought we were good, at times,” assessed head coach Bill Peters. “I thought they forechecked well. When you manage the puck properly, whatever team was managing the puck properly and managing the puck the best was having the most success.”
The Flames are now 11-1-2 since Christmas and an impressive 28-8-5 since getting walloped by Pittsburgh at the end of October. They hit the All-Star/CBA break in first place in the Pacific Division (and the Western Conference).
The third pair comes up big
The Flames are one of the rare NHL clubs that ices a pairing that’s entirely NHL rookies. Only Anaheim has had more games played by rookie blueliners in the league. The Flames’ rookie pairing had a strong game against Carolina. Rasmus Andersson led the team in shots (with four), while Oliver Kylington scored the game-opening goal by driving the net.
Peters shared his thoughts on the trio of young defenders – Andersson, Kylington and Juuso Valimaki – who have manned the third pairing this season.
Well, we didn’t expect to play two rookies together but we’ve played a threesome there. A little combination of Vali and Andy, and now Kyl and Andy, and they’ve been real good and that’s just the way it is. And it’s a fast game now, it’s a modern game. The current game we’re playing is fast, it’s young, it’s just the way the game is trending. And those guys all play with the proper skillset to play and fit in today’s NHL. It’s a different NHL than it was five, 10 years ago, and they have the skillset to be successful.