Predators Stay Undefeated In Regulation, Losing Again In OT

Tuesday night, the Nashville Predators lost in overtime to the Calgary Flames, 1-0 score. The overtime loss was Nashville’s second in a row. On Saturday, it took extra time for Washington to beat the Predators 3-2. Nashville’s record moves to 3-0-2. Only two teams remain undefeated in regulation. The other team is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Calgary’s record moves to 3-2-0.

Less than 3 minutes into the game, Predators defenseman Ryan Suter collided with Cory Sarich. Suter left the game and did not return. Coach Barry Trotz described the injury as lower body, saying more details should be available Wednesday. Incidentally, Sarich also elbowed Predators defenseman Cody Franson in the face with a little over 11 minutes left to play in the third period. No penalties were called on either hit.

CHICAGO - APRIL 16: Ryan Suter #20 of the Nashville Predators controls the puck in front of teammate Pekka Rinne #35 against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 11, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Predators defeated the Blackhawks 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ryan Suter, who left the game early and did not return, is classified as having a lower body injury. (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

Pekka Rinne was back in net for Nashville. It was the first time the Finnish goaltender saw action since the Predators’ season opener on October 9th against the Anaheim Ducks. Rinne faced 35 shots and was able to turn them all away but the one shot Calgary registered in overtime. Rene Bourque was in front of the net and banged the puck past Rinne while it was still in mid air at 2:10 into overtime. It was Bourque’s first goal of the season, after missing the last two games with a mild concussion.

Bourque credits Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff with the win, adding that the Bridgestone Arena “is a tough place to play and [Nashville is] a tough team to play against. They don’t give you a lot of chances.”

Perhaps the most exciting part of the game was the final minute when Calgary’s Matt Stajan had Rinne beat but hit the post and then in the dying seconds of regulation, Sergei Kostitsyn and Jerred Smithson both had opportunities to finish the game in Nashville’s favor, but couldn’t pull it off.

Nashville welcomed back Martin Erat to the lineup. Erat had sat out the last couple of games with back spasms. Also, Nick Spaling made his debut for the Predators. Spaling was recalled from Milwaukee as a result of Marcel Goc being out for 2-4 weeks with a separated shoulder.

With the injuries continuing to pile up for Nashville, their depth will continue to be tested. The loss of Ryan Suter comes at a time when Nashville is about to play 3 games in 4 nights. Those games include Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brad Richards and the red hot Dallas Stars, and Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier’s Tampa Bay Lightening.

Nashville’s next game is Thursday night when the Penguins visit Bridgestone Arena. Tickets are still available.

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Tags: Calgary Flames Martin Erat Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne Rene Bourque Ryan Suter

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