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Game Rush: Flames vs. Predators

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- Finding the back of the net has become as hard as finding the end of the rainbow for the Calgary Flames.

The Flames have played exceptionally well all week yet their trouble generating offense has burnt them for their past three games. The Flames have only a single point to show for their hard work and have scored just three goals in their past three games.

"It's a pretty similar story. Guys are playing hard," captain Jarome Iginla said. "Maybe we didn't dominate this game like the others but we definitely could have won it. Everybody can see it - goals are tough to get right now. Guys are playing well. We've got the defensive side of the game going very well, we're getting great goaltending, guys are blocking a lot of shots and getting the shots down. It's no secret we need to score goals."

Iginla was quick to point out that while his team has been frustrated with their goal scoring drought, they were staying positive.

"That's all you can do. You stay positive, you keep working," he said firmly. "We've scored goals before. It's obviously a tough drought but no, you've got to stay positive. Keep believing it's going to go the next shift, the next game and it will."

Mark Giordano said the team was fighting the frustration and would continue to push as hard as they could until the offensive floodgates opened.

"The bottom line is that we can't afford to let it go too long. We've got to bounce back on the road and get some wins. After a few games, it's obviously very frustrating, we can't seem to get that tie or that winner. We've got to find a way and I think our guys are working hard, it's just one of those things, it's not going."

Miikka Kiprusoff played a strong game, only allowing one goal on 21 shots, and believes that his team is on the verge of breaking their scoring slump.

"I think that we played very well," he said. "We're having a tough time scoring goals right now but it will change. Look at our lineup, we have a lot of guys who can score goals so probably next game it will open up and we'll be fine."

The first two periods saw teams exchange chances but unable to beat the two hot goaltenders. Kiprusoff had a couple of spectacular saves, robbing three Predators on golden scoring opportunities.

Patric Hornqvist finally broke the dead-locked tilt when he was able to squeak the puck five-hole on Kiprusoff, deflating the crowd at the Pengrowth Saddledome. With just 6:22 left in regulation, the Flames weren't able to bury the equalizer and dropped their third straight.

"When things aren't going well offensively, your mistakes in the defensive zone are magnified and I think that happened tonight," Giordano said of the Nashville goal.

The Flames head out to sunny California to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. Game time is 6:00 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.

It was another uneventful night for the Flames forwards. They were unable to generate any offense against a defensively-stifling Predators club and that inability to score goals cost them their third straight game. The Flames were able to keep the shots down to 21 but a single defense slip-up behind the their net cause a Nashville goal and handed the win over the visitors. The Flames, while not as dominate as their last two games, played well in the offense zone but either fanned on shots, missed the net or shot a second too late. The power play wasn't clicking again and the Flames weren't able to produce with the man advantage.

D Aaron Johnson, F Brandon Prust and F Fredrik Sjostrom were healthy scratches ... this was the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs. The season series was split 2-2. Both teams have only won while visiting the other ... the Flames are getting directly involved with the crisis in Haiti by donating the 50/50 proceeds until Jan. 25 to the Red Cross.

The Flames lead the league in fighting majors with 50. Nashville has the least fighting majors through the season with 13 scraps ... Brian McGrattan and Wade Belak have fought 3 times this season ... Craig Conroy led the Flames in hits with 4 ... Conroy won 76 per cent of his faceoffs while the Flames won 58 per cent of their draws ... Dion Phaneuf had 3 blocked shots ... Iginla needs 10 games for 1000. Curtis Glencross needs 10 games for 200. Daymond Langkow needs 11 games for 1000.

"Again, it was an even game I thought. It is frustrating but we've got to paddle through this." - Mark Giordano on the team's goal scoring slump

"I think they're starting to find themselves as a line again. We split them up there for awhile because we just trying to shake things up and personally I think, as a line, they got into a little funk. But they've come back from that." - Brent Sutter on the Dawes-Langkow-Bourque line

"We've got to find ways to win these games and it's tough when Miikka doesn't feel like he's getting any goal support." - Conroy




Miikka Kiprusoff
Was superb all night, stopped 20 of 21 shots on net
Jarome Iginla
Was the most dominant Flames forward all night
Mark Giordano
Never was out of position, had 21:19 of ice time

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