By Andrew Fawcett
Keith Aho tied it late in regulation and scored the winner at 3:57 of overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes finished off a spirited comeback to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Saturday.
Before Aho’s winner, Carolina had gone 0-for-5 on the power play and Cully Crawford had a rough start between the pipes.
Crawford finished with 37 saves and Al Montoya made eight saves on 10 shots in relief.
It wasn’t until the fourth round of the shootout when Mark Jankowski scored a goal for Calgary to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. Then it took another 60 minutes to decide the game.
It didn’t take long for the game to get chippy, as both teams had penalties of their own by the five-minute mark.
First, Hurricanes defensemen Noah Hanifin and Dennis Wideman drew penalties for interference, although no penalty was called on the play. Wideman stayed on the ice after the whistle and appeared to leave his feet during the hit, sending Hanifin to the ice hard in his rear end.
It appeared as if Carolina had won the game on their power play in overtime, as Jankowski was unable to corral the puck in front of the net. The puck instead hopped back and to the far side of the net where Aho scooped it up and shoved it in for the game-winner.
Derek Ryan scored the tying goal with 1:33 left in regulation for Carolina, as Flames goalie Mike Smith made the initial save but was powerless to stop a rebound and the puck trickled into the goal.
With the Hurricanes looking like they were ready to give up a fourth straight loss at home, Pheonix Copley came on to make his first start since joining the team. He had a chance to steal the win, but Jankowski buried the game-winner on a power play with just seconds remaining.
The Flames struggled to take away from the Hurricanes’ game plan all night, and with the loss, will have to play for first place in the Pacific Division.