Gaudreau has 2 goals and an assist, Flames beat Hurricanes

Gaudreau has 2 goals and an assist, Flames beat Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. — Johnny Gaudreau is generating goals again. It’s not a coincidence that the Calgary Flames also are winning.

Gaudreau had two goals and an assist to help the Flames beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday.

Gaudreau has eight points in his last four games for the Flames, who have won four straight and have earned at least one point in six straight games. Calgary went 5-0-1 in that stretch, including a 4-0-1 record on a five-game road trip.

“We’ve got to keep this thing going,” Gaudreau said. “We know we’re setting ourselves up for an important March.”

Victor Rask scored on the power play for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost six of seven to fall into last place in the Metropolitan Division.

“I just don’t think we ever got it going at any point in the game,” coach Bill Peters said. “I don’t think there was the ability to sag, because we never got to a level that was high enough.”

And with the NHL’s trading deadline Wednesday, Peters implied his team could be a seller.

“We made it easy on management, for sure,” he said.

Micheal Ferland also scored and Brian Elliott made 34 saves for the Flames, with his best coming with roughly 15 minutes to play when he stopped Jeff Skinner from point-blank range.

Eddie Lack finished with 21 saves. He made his second straight start for Carolina.

Gaudreau had his third two-goal game of the season, scoring the go-ahead goal with 5:10 left in the second period when he scooped up his own rebound and slipped it past Lack. Gaudreau tacked on an insurance goal with 8:55 remaining in the third with a wrist shot.

Gaudreau, who had 24 goals in 2014-15 and 30 a season ago, has just 13 this year.

“I know I’ve been struggling, trying to find the net throughout the season here,” Gaudreau said. “But this road trip, I feel like I played a little bit more my game throughout the road trip. Played it simple. Just made smart little plays.”

His scoring binge came after Ferland tied it on a breakaway, splitting the Hurricanes’ defencemen and beating Lack high with 13:55 left in the second.

It came after Rask put Carolina up 1-0 at 4:54 of the first, beating Elliott with a wrist shot from the circle for his first goal since Jan. 13.

“We’ve been trying to get better at playing down a goal throughout this stretch here,” Gaudreau said. “It’s great to see us keep coming back and showing some … character and getting those wins. It was a great game for us. We played simple, we played the right way.”

NOTES: The Flames improved to 24-0-1 when leading after two periods, the second-best mark in the NHL behind Pittsburgh (25-0-0). … Carolina scratched LW Brock McGinn with an unspecified injury sustained Friday night in a victory over Ottawa. … Hurricanes D Noah Hanifin assisted on Rask’s goal for his first point since Jan. 13.

UP NEXT

Flames: Begin a four-game homestand by facing Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Hurricanes: Head south for two games in Florida, starting Tuesday night against the Panthers.

Joedy McCreary, The Associated Press

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