The first blockbuster deal of the week by the Calgary Flames didn’t result in a victory.
Calgary (27-21-8) sent star defenseman Dion Phaneuf(notes), forward Fredrik Sjostrom(notes) and minor league defenseman Keith Aulie(notes) to Toronto for defenseman Ian White(notes) and forwards Matt Stajan(notes), Niklas Hagman(notes) and Jamal Mayers(notes) on Sunday. Those four players made their Flames debuts in a 3-0 home loss to Philadelphia on Monday.
Shortly after the Flames’ 10th loss in 11 games, the club announced another deal in acquiring forwards Kotalik and Higgins from the Rangers for Olli Jokinen(notes) and Brandon Prust(notes). New York unloaded two players who failed to live up to expectations as Kotalik had 22 points and Higgins 14.
The popular Jokinen had 11 goals and 24 assists for Calgary while Prust was second in the NHL with 18 fighting majors.
“Olli was one of my better friends on the team,” winger Eric Nystrom(notes) told the NHL’s official Web site. “It’s tough seeing this side of the business, but they’re trying to get our team going in the right direction and if these are the moves they have to make, then as players we just have to accept it. We don’t have much of a say.”
Stajan moved onto the top line between captain Jarome Iginla(notes) and Dustin Boyd(notes) on Monday as Calgary managed 18 shots. The Flames have scored 20 goals over the last 11 games and hope the veteran center can add to his total of 16 with the Maple Leafs.
“You try and build chemistry, and get used to tendencies of the guys you’re playing with. It doesn’t just happen,” Stajan said. “You start to get a feel, but it wasn’t there tonight.”
The Flames know they need practice time to get used to the new players as well as victories in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
“I don’t think it’s right to judge them on their performance tonight but the reality is we can’t have players, new and old, take too long getting used to each other because we have no time for that, we have to win hockey games,” coach Brent Sutter said.
Carolina (19-29-7) is making its first visit to Calgary since a 3-0 loss Dec. 5, 2006. That marked its second straight shutout at the Pengrowth Saddledome since a 4-3 win Dec. 12, 2002.
The Hurricanes had their season-high four-game win streak snapped Monday with a 4-2 loss at Edmonton. Cam Ward(notes) made 23 saves on 27 shots after posting a 1.25 goals-against average in the four-game run.
“Cam has really been the difference for us the last two weeks but he wasn’t at his ‘A’ game best,” coach Paul Maurice said. “But we have to put more than two in, as well.”
“I just think throughout the game we didn’t have enough consistency with our skating and with our puck movement,” Staal said.