Calgary Flames vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 7th 2023

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The host Calgary Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes will look to halt modest two-game losing streaks at the other’s expense when they meet on Thursday night.

Moreover, both squads are coming off one-sided setbacks.

The Flames will resume a six-game homestand after Tuesday’s 5-2 defeat to the Minnesota Wild, a clash in which Calgary surrendered the first goal for the seventh consecutive outing and 13th time in 15 games.

“We have to get better with our starts. We can say it all we want, but we have to execute, and that’s everyone,” Flames forward A.J. Greer said. “Right off the bat, every line’s got to go out there, do the simple things, then ease into the game rather than complicate ourselves right away. It’s hard to come back in this league; we’ve had success, but we can’t keep relying on that.”

The issue of allowing the first goal is only one ongoing problem for the club. The Flames have trailed in 20 of their last 21 outings and have held a lead after two periods only four times this season.

“When you’re chasing games, you tend to overplay guys, so you’re going to put your guys that you expect to generate offense on the ice more often probably than they should be,” coach Ryan Huska said. “When you’re always chasing a game, those guys at times play too much, whether it’s your forwards or your top defensemen that you’re looking to generate a little offense.

“That’s a big thing: When you’re playing with the lead, there’s more time for you to get everybody involved in the game and stay involved in the game.”

The Hurricanes arrive in Calgary after a 6-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, their second defeat in as many outings to begin a six-game trip.

Carolina surrendered four goals in the first period in Edmonton, including two in the first 41 seconds.

“It was a bad game from start to finish,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We didn’t have anything going. You get in a hole like that off the bat, that’s certainly not how you want to start the game. I haven’t seen a game like that out of us, so I’m a little bit lost for words. Not acceptable, that’s for sure. Our top guys, especially, have got to show up a little more.”

“It wasn’t pretty, the whole game,” captain Jordan Staal added. “Embarrassing, really. (It’s a) good thing we play (Thursday); I wouldn’t want to sit on that one for too long. They got two goals in the first minute, and it’s tough to come back (after that) in this league.”

The Hurricanes sit second in the Metropolitan Division, but they have struggled to a 6-8-0 road record. A better result in Calgary would improve that mark as well as wash away the taste of the loss to Edmonton.

“It’s not great they way we’ve been up and down this season,” Staal said. “We have to flush it as quick as we can and start buying into what we do. To a man, we’ve got to be better.”

–Field Level Media

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