By Amanda DiPaolo
The Nashville Predators went to Philadelphia Thursday night in the hopes of stopping their current losing skid, but on the strength of two third period goals, the Flyers edged Nashville 3-2. The loss extends the Predators losing streak to four games.
Leino, after scoring his second goal of the third period (Getty Images).
Anders Lindback was in goal for Nashville. It was Lindback’s first start in goal since Nashville’s January 16th loss against Chicago.
Philadelphia opened scoring at 10:18 into the game. Jeff Carter picked up the puck off the boards, skated in on net, beating Lindback with a snap shot on the stick side. It was Carter’s 24th goal of the season. Timmo Kimonen and Claude Giroux recorded the assists.
The Predators tied the game 59 second later. Cody Franson skated the puck from Nashville’s defensive zone all the way across the Flyers blue line, taking a shot on Sergei Bobrovsky. The rebound was picked up by Marcel Goc who’s wrist shot beat Bobrovsky stick side. It was Goc’s 9th goal of the season. Colin Wilson collected the other assist.
The first penalty of the game was called with 12:43 left in the second period. Kevin Klein was called for delay of game for clearing the puck over the boards.
Nashville killed off the penalty and it appeared would also take the lead when Goc scored his second goal of the night at 10:40. The goal was immediately waived off because of incidental contact with the goaltender by Patrick Hornqvist.
With just under a minute left to play in the second period, Klein picked up a fighting major when he and Dan Carcillo dropped the gloves. Carcillo boarded Goc by the players’ benches and Klein skated in to defend his teammate. Carcillo picked up the extra minor penalty for boarding.
Nashville started the third period with a minute left on the power play but was unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
The Predators gave the Flyers a second power play opportunity in the third period when Joel Ward was called for hooking Scott Hartnell at 6:15 of the third period.
The Flyers took the lead 6:55 when Ville Leino picked up his 12th goal of the season by stuffing the puck behind Lindback from the side of the net. Carter and Mike Richards picked up the assists.
Nashville had a chance to even things up when Marty Erat caught a high stick in the face from Claude Giroux at 8:57 of the final frame.
The Flyers had an excellent scoring chance shorthanded when Blair Betts got a breakaway, but was unable to put the game out of reach for Nashville. The Flyers have scored seven shorthanded goals this season.
Ward, who was in the box for the Flyers second goal, scored on the power play for Nashville at 10:18. Shea Weber took a shot from the point and with the puck out front of the Flyers net, it was Ward who was able to put the rebound in the back of the net. It was Ward’s 7th goal of the season. Erat and Weber picked up the assists.
It looked like the Predators had clawed their way back into the game, but Leino had other plans when he scored his second goal of the night with just over three minutes to play in regulation.
Nashville was unable to tie the game for a third time and the Flyers won after losing a 4-0 decision on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. Nashville has not won since January 23rd when the Predators edged Edmonton 3-2.
The road for Nashville gets no easier as two of the next three games for the Predators will be against the Detroit Red Wings. Nashville’s next game is Saturday when the Red Wings make their first visit to Bridgestone Arena this season. Tickets are still available. Game time is 7pm.
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