Cody Franson's goal 4:14 into the third period broke a 3-3 tie as the Predators continued their offensive hot streak with a 5-3 victory over the Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Franson took a feed from Joel Ward and fired a soft wrister from the right point that changed direction off a stick, bounced off the ice, and went past Miikka Kiprusoff's blocker.
Dave Scatchard added an empty-netter as the Predators won their fifth in a row despite being outshot 10-4 in the third period, 22-10 over the last 40 minutes and 32-20 for the game.
Nashville is 7-1-2 since being whipped 5-0 by the Flames at home on Nov. 30.
"Any time you get beat at home, especially the way we got beat, it sort of brings clarity into what you don't want to do," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We sort of got our game back in order once that happened."
For Calgary, it was a change from Thursday, when the Flames beat Los Angeles 2-1 despite being outshot 15-3 in the third period and 35-24 for the game.
"We definitely feel we should have got at least one, maybe two, points out of this one," said Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, who ended his personal eight-game scoring drought with a pair of second-period goals. "We've got ourselves in a bit of a rut. Third periods, we're not closing it out, and finding ways to get points and wins out of it.
"We did a lot of good things tonight. Our power play was a lot better. We kept the other team's scoring chances down," Iginla added. "But the last five or six games, I don't know how many third periods we've been in a pretty good position, and unfortunately we haven't been able to . . . find a way to get it done."
Martin Erat added a goal and two assists for the Predators, who have 23 goals in their last four games after completing a two-game sweep of Alberta. Nashville (22-11-3) moved into a first-place tie in the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, although the 'Hawks have three games in hand. The red-hot Preds are also 15-3-2 since Nov. 12 and are 6-0-1 in their last seven road games.
The Flames (20-11-4) have dropped four of their past five games and fell to 9-6-1 at the Saddledome.
The Preds jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the game was 13 minutes old, Erat beat Kiprusoff through the five-hole from the slot at 4:22 on a feed from Jerred Smithson, and David Legwand swatted home a rebound at 12:30 just as a roughing penalty to David Moss was expiring.
Dion Phaneuf got Calgary on the board at 13:41 with a power-play blast from the point that went past a screened Dan Ellis.
The Flames then took the momentum in the second period, thanks to Iginla. He tied the game 2-2 at 3:48, taking a pass from Glencross and rifling a shot off the left post and in. Less than seven minutes later, Olli Jokinen swatted the puck away from Nashville's Dan Hamhuis and fed Iginla, whose hard shot from the left wing was blocked by Ellis. However, Iginla kicked the rebound up to his stick and took another swipe - this time taking a shot that caromed off a sliding Hamhuis in the crease and across the goal line for a 3-2 Calgary lead at 10:45.
However, Marcel Goc got the Preds even when he buried the rebound of Ward's shot at 17:10.
"They came out with a lot of energy in the second, got us on our heels and scored a couple of goals," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Obviously, a big goal by Goc to make it 3-3, and (from that point) I thought we got the momentum back, and were much better.
"They had a good push in the third, and we were on our heels a little bit again, but that's what we do - play a little bit of rope-a-dope. It was important for us . . . being resilient when it was 3-2, and not giving up the fourth goal."
The Preds play their last pre-Christmas game on Tuesday in Vancouver. The Flames have a few days to reflect before visiting St. Louis on Wednesday.
"Tonight we did a lot of good things, but had a couple of mistakes that turned into goals real quick," said Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano. "When you give up 20 shots, like we did tonight, you know you're doing something right
"We pushed in the third, and they get that one scoring chance and get a good break. I thought we had a lot of quality chances when we were down by one, and it just wouldn't go. Compared to the game against L.A., where we sat back a bit, tonight we really pushed."
|Martin Erat (12) ASST: Jerred Smithson (1), Marcel Goc (5)|
1 - 0 NSH
|David Legwand (8) ASST: Patric Hornqvist (8), Martin Erat (11)|
2 - 0 NSH
|PPG - Dion Phaneuf (8) ASST: Jarome Iginla (18), Mark Giordano (11)|
2 - 1 NSH
|Jarome Iginla (18) ASST: Curtis Glencross (9), Olli Jokinen (17)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Jarome Iginla (19) ASST: Olli Jokinen (18)|
3 - 2 CGY
|Marcel Goc (6) ASST: Joel Ward (11), Cody Franson (6)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Cody Franson (3) ASST: Joel Ward (12), Marcel Goc (6)|
4 - 3 NSH
|EN - Dave Scatchard (3) ASST: Martin Erat (12), Kevin Klein (7)|
5 - 3 NSH
|Robyn Regehr Interference against Patric Hornqvist|
|David Moss Roughing against Dan Hamhuis|
|Jerred Smithson Hooking against Jarome Iginla|
|Patric Hornqvist Roughing against Adam Pardy|
|Adam Pardy Roughing against Patric Hornqvist|
|Brian McGrattan Fighting (maj) against Wade Belak|
|Wade Belak Fighting (maj) against Brian McGrattan|
|Craig Conroy Tripping against Dave Scatchard|
|Dave Scatchard Boarding against Adam Pardy|