He’s playing such a high level. We have so much confidence in him right now. It’s incredible to know that guy is back there. - Joe Colborne
NASHVILLE, TN -- He wasn’t peppered often, but Karri Ramo doused the Nashville Predators when the time came. And Ramo’s timing couldn’t have been better.
The goaltender was tested just 21 times through regulation and overtime -- and another three times in the shootout -- en route to his second straight win of the season.
But it was a save off Predators forward Craig Smith with the game tied 2-2 that had his teammates abuzz.
“That save should be on highlight reels for a long time,” said Joe Colborne, who netted the shootout winner in Calgary’s 3-2 victory in Nashville. “He’s playing such a high level. We have so much confidence in him right now. It’s incredible to know that guy is back there You have a chance in every game. We hope you can keep it up.”
Filip Forsberg, who had given the Predators a 1-0 lead in the first period, toe-dragged Flames defenceman Kris Russell before finding Smith off the far post.
Down but not out, Ramo sprawled to his left before robbing Smith with the glove, preserving the score and setting the stage for overtime and Colborne’s eventual heroics.
“[Russell] played it really good because he took the shot away, made him go to the backhand and it’s a little bit longer pass,” Ramo described. “It’s always on the backhand, have a little bit maybe more time to move and he doesn’t have a scoring angle at all so I was able to read he was going to pass and then he just put it in my glove.
“You have to battle. I didn’t see much pucks today but had to make a couple of key saves. It’s two points for us and a huge two points on the road.
“We got those two points; we got the win. But it’s the same thing. It kind of goes away. You always try to be the difference and in a game like that where they was not a lot of shots, not a lot of chances, it’s big for us.”
The save, coach Bob Hartley admitted, was worthy of the two points.
“He deserves the win because huge save on that 2-on-1 in the third period,” Hartley said. “That would’ve been the difference and then three big saves during the shootout. Both goalies are giving us a chance to win. That’s why we feel good. We can go on the attack and take a few chances. Those guys bail us out.”
In his bid to be the Flames’ No. 1 goaltender, Ramo has put together a strong push.
He’s 2-0-0 on the year with a 1.92 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
Understandable, it seems, how Ramo has sparked the Flames.
“It’s the way he prepares, too,” Colborne said. “It’s every day in practice. Pre-game skates before the game you can just tell he’s getting in the zone and we’re just praying we can keep riding him here.”