Hurricanes beaten by Flames as former Canes do the damage

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Derek Ryan had a goal and assist, and Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin also scored Sunday.

A year ago, that would have been a very good thing for the Carolina Hurricanes. On Sunday, it did the Canes in. The two helped the Calgary Flames, coached by Bill Peters, take a 4-3 victory at PNC Arena.

Not much was made at the game about the return of Peters, the Canes coach for four seasons, or three players who once were in the Carolina lineup — Lindholm, Ryan and Hanifin. A very brief mention was made of the four on the video board during an early first-period break.

But this wasn’t a day about welcome-backs or niceties. The Canes were looking to build on a 5-2 win Friday against the Vegas Golden Knights and pull closer to playoff position in the Eastern Conference, and the Flames seeking to rebound from a 4-3 road loss to the Washington Capitals.

Lindholm had a power-play goal for the Flames, the puck hitting a shin pad and getting past goalie Petr Mrazek in the first period. Ryan scored on a wraparound, then had the setup pass to Garnet Hathaway for a shorthanded score in the second.

Hanifin unloaded a shot from the point in the third that proved to be the game-winner.

Some former Flames also had their say in the game. Forward Micheal Ferland had the primary assist on Teuvo Teravainen’s first-period goal after a Sebastian Aho steal in the Calgary zone, and set up Aho for a third-period goal, his 24th, in the final minute.

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton pulled the Canes within 3-2 in the second by zipping a shot past goalie David Rittich, who earned his 20th win of the season with 33 saves.

Much was made of the June 2018 trade in which the Canes sent Lindholm and Hanifin, two former first-round draft picks, to Calgary for Ferland and Hamilton. That deal came about two months after Peters resigned from the Canes and was quickly hired by the Flames.

When Ryan signed with Calgary as a free agent, Peters had brought in a center that he once coached in junior, that found his way into the NHL with the Canes and Peters after a few years in Europe.

All has gone well for the former Canes as the Flames have soared, leading the NHL’s Pacific Division and posting the best point total in the Western Conference. That has made Peters a top candidate for the Jack Adams Award as the league’s best coach.

Lindholm’s goal Sunday was his 23rd of the season, a career high, and extended the Swede’s point streak to a career-best 10 games. Ryan scored his fifth and picked up his 14th assist while Hanifin also scored his fifth.

Hamilton and Ferland were in the starting lineup as Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour sent out his two former Flames. Ferland then figured in the game’s first goal and Hamilton’s second-period goal was badly needed by the Canes after falling behind 3-1.

Hamilton fired off a quick undercut after first freezing Rittich from the right circle, then beating him to the glove side. Rittich made one of his best saves early in the third, moving quickly to his right to deny Justin Williams off the rush and keep the Flames in front.

It also hurt the Canes that they could not get anything out of their three power plays — allowing the shorthanded score and not producing any offensive chances that Rittich couldn’t defeat or deflate. The Canes next go on the road for five games, the first against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.