Predators 5, Flames 3
After a long, tough road trip, the Nashville Predators were
definitely happy to be home on Thursday night.
Mike Fisher scored two goals and the Predators beat the Calgary
Flames 5-3 to snap a four-game losing streak.
Martin Erat, Nick Spaling, and Brandon Yip had the other goals
for the Predators, and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves.
Mark Giordano, Blake Comeau, and Jarome Iginla scored for the
Flames, who have dropped eight consecutive road games.
The Predators grabbed control with four consecutive goals
beginning late in the first period and carrying over to the third.
Nashville improved to 7-2-4 at home.
Fisher converted a nice feed from Erat to tie it at 2 in the
first, then put Nashville in front at 13:24 of the middle period.
Carrying the puck down the right side, Roman Josi threw a pass to
Fisher on the left side, and he beat Miikka Kiprusoff for his ninth
of the season.
”They were great plays,” Fisher said. ”Marty made a great
play forechecking on that first one and I was right in the slot.
Josi made a perfect play backdoor to me. I was just in the right
place at the right times.”
Just a minute later, Spaling deflected a slap shot from
defenseman Victor Bartley by Kiprusoff for his sixth on the year.
The assist was Bartley’s first NHL point.
Yip provided another insurance goal at 15:54 of the third, and
Iginla scored on a power play with one minute remaining.
”You look at the standings and how close they are, what a
couple wins can do, and we’ve come on this road trip and haven’t
gotten those,” Iginla said. ”We know where we stand and how much
time is left.”
Giordano got Calgary off to a nice start with a short-handed
goal at 5:01 of the opening period. Lee Stempniak forced a turnover
by Josi and carried the puck in along the left side before finding
Giordano above the left circle, where he fired a one-timer by Rinne
for his third on the season.
Erat responded with a power-play goal at 11:36 when he
redirected Josi’s slap shot from the blue line by Kiprusoff, who
finished with 18 stops.
”The most important thing is we got the two points,” Erat
said. ”We had a couple of bad mistakes the last three, four games,
and it happens. It is a long season and we bounced back
Calgary came up with another short-handed goal when Giordano
made a nice pass from the left faceoff dot to Comeau, who was
coming down the right side. He tipped the puck by Rinne for his
fourth of the season at 13:05.
”It was the perfect scenario,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said
of the two short-handed goals. ”I felt that we wanted to start
with jump. We wanted to get the first goal, and that’s exactly what
we did. Giveaways simply killed us.”
Nashville has allowed three short-handed goals in its last three
games and four this season, equaling its total from the 2011-12
”The thing that impressed me the most was that we didn’t go
into a shell,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. ”We’ve had a
little bit of bad luck and a little bit of bad play that goes along
with it. We didn’t score first tonight. As I said before the game,
I wanted to keep a positive spirit.”
NOTES: Calgary D Jay Bouwmeester recorded an assist for his
300th career NHL point. … Stempniak has a goal and five assists
in his last four games. … Fisher has points in five consecutive
games, a season-long streak. … Nashville C Craig Smith was a
healthy scratch. It was the first game he has missed this