NHL Hockey

Flames-Hurricanes matchup looks like a reunion

Calgary Flames' Mikael Backlund celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes aren't exactly historical rivals, but Tuesday's showdown in Calgary will have extra excitement because of all the familiar faces.

Calgary, which is on a two-game winning streak, a 7-0-1 run and atop the Western Conference, features a few former Hurricanes.

Not only do the Flames boast forward Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, who were acquired from the Hurricanes in last summer's big trade, but forward Derek Ryan joined the team via free agency and head coach Bill Peters spent the previous four years guiding the Hurricanes.

Carolina arrives with a couple of former Flames in forward Micheal Ferland and defenseman Dougie Hamilton. College prospect Adam Fox also was dealt to the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 7-4 win over Edmonton on Sunday night, which snapped a two-game slide.

Almost all of the parties are enjoying strong seasons. Leading the way in that regard is Lindholm, who has already posted career highs of 21 goals and 57 points, mainly skating on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

"I looked at the roster before I signed and felt like we had something good, and that's why I wanted to sign for six years here," Lindholm said. "I knew before I signed that we were going to have a good team here, and obviously it's been better than I thought."

Lindholm has been a key factor in Calgary's much-improved power play, which has gone 10-for-21 over the past seven games.

Hanifin has netted 25 points and solidified the second pairing with Travis Hamonic.

"It's been an unbelievable year. Obviously the team is doing so well and I'm so fortunate to play here and play with these guys. We have such a close locker room," Hanifin said. "Obviously, the success we've been having, it's been a lot of fun."

The clash is Calgary's last before the All-Star break.

Ferland, who missed Sunday's game due to a back issue but is expected to suit up Tuesday, has collected 13 goals and 25 points in 40 games.

Hamilton is the outlier in the deal, with just six goals and 16 points -- well off the numbers he posted over his three seasons for Calgary. Still, he's looking forward to suiting up in the Saddledome.

"I think it'll be fun. I mean, their team is doing great obviously, so it's going to be a tough game," Hamilton said.

Hamilton's departure brought out questions regarding his chemistry with teammates, but he said his time in Calgary is filled with great memories.

"I lived my childhood dream of playing with my brother (Freddie) in the NHL. Played with a lot of great players. Made a lot of good friendships, in the dressing room and outside the dressing room with just regular people in the city and the hospitals and stuff like that," Hamilton said.

"It's always interesting going back and different stuff comes back into your head. So it's going to be cool."

Carolina, which plays Vancouver on Wednesday before the All-Star break, made some positive news off the ice on Monday. Forward Teuvo Teravainen signed a five-year, $27 million contract extension.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 22, 2019

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