Nashville Predators Succumb to All-Out Calgary Flames Attack
Following a strong victory over the Washington Capitals, the newly-playoff-bound Nashville Predators fell victim to a vicious Calgary Flames assault and fell 5-2 Sunday evening at Bridegstone Arena.
Calgary scored four straight goals after the Predators tallied first, and added an empty-netter in the final minute. The Flames desperately needed this win to hang tight in the playoff race, and overtook the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division with the victory.
The Predators continued their trend of scoring first in this one, as Roman Josi took a pass at the point from Mike Santorelli and rifled it by Jonas Hiller to go up 1-0 in the first period. With the assist, Santorelli has two points in three games, after going pointless since March 2nd. But, it was downhill from there, as the Flames kept up the pressure, and evened the game up about three minutes later on a goal by Lance Bouma. He got his own rebound and poked it past Carter Hutton, who probably wants that one back.
The Flames continued to give the Predators trouble as they were unrelenting in the offensive zone, and moved the puck around quickly. Then, late in the period, Kris Russell took a shot from the point that ricocheted off Paul Gaustad’s skate and into the net to put Calgary up 2-1.
It did not get much better for the Predators in the second, as the Flames absolutely dominated the ice. A non-stop Calgary attack led to Drew Shore setting up Michael Ferland for his first-ever NHL goal and a 3-1 lead. A few minutes later, Jiri Hudler torched the Predators defense and somehow got the puck through Hutton’s five-hole.
The goal gave Calgary a 4-1 lead. The Predators showed some spurts of life, but could not find any golden scoring chances. Calgary just owned every inch of the ice tonight in pretty stellar fashion.
Midway through the third, the Predators found a spark of hope when Seth Jones banked in a wrister off the pipe and in to cut the Calgary lead to two. However, Nashville couldn’t muster anything much after that, and Bouma added an empty-net goal for Calgary to put the game on ice.
The Flames out shot the Predators 30-29 on the night and with the win the Flames took the season series with a record of 2-0-1 against Nashville.
- Calle Jarnkrok has been a bit cold lately. He had a great scoring chance, but missed the net. Sums up his season.
- Josi continues to make his case for the Norris Trophy in the absence of the injured Shea Weber. Scored a great goal for Nashville early in the first period. He probably won’t win it, but he is easily one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL.
- The game really boiled down to a simply concept: the Predators were tired and just clinched a playoff spot, and the Flames were not tired and trying to make the playoffs.
The Predators are back in action Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.