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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Predators

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- In just a 1:23 span, the Nashville Predators managed to end to two streaks.

Goals just over a minute apart from Austin Watson and Matt Halischuk early in the third period lifted the Predators over the Flames 4-3 at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory snaps an eight-game losing skid for the Predators and a season-high three-game winning streak for Calgary. The Flames sit 24th overall in the National Hockey League, just a point up on the Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers.

Tied after 40 minutes, Austin Watson needed just 3:17 to break a 2-2 deadlock in the third period, beating Flames starter Miikka Kiprusoff over the right pad for his first career NHL tally to give Nashville the lead.

Matt Halischuk didn't hesitate to add his fifth of the season at 4:40, out-waiting Kiprusoff before lifting the puck into the net to make it 4-2.

Pushing, the Flames drew back within one. Roman Cervenka deflected a chest-high point shot from Chris Butler behind Pekka Rinne with 4:50 remaining in the game.

Pressing for the equalizer with the net empty, the Flames couldn't draw even to force overtime.

TJ Brodie scored the game's first goal, his second of the season and first in 31 contests. After Mark Cundari forced a turnover with a hit behind the net, Paul Byron found Brodie at the point, who danced around a Nashville forward before firing a shot behind Rinne at 5:59.

David Legwand, with his 200th career goal, pulled the Predators even at 14:39, burying a Shea Weber rebound behind Kiprusoff for his team-leading 12th of the season. With an assist on the play, Filip Forsberg recorded his first career NHL point.

The Flames would regain the lead at 7:06 of the second period.

Sven Baertschi's outlet pass skipped over the skate of Kevin Klein's skate and onto the stick of Cervenka. In alone on Rinne, Cervenka beat the Nashville goalie to the blocker for just his eighth of the year to give Calgary a 2-1 lead.

That lead would be chopped again by the Predators before the period let out.

With Cundari in the penalty box for hooking, Weber's point shot was deflected by Nick Spaling and behind Kiprusoff with just 1:29 left in the middle frame.


Sprung by Baertschi, Cervenka went in uncontested on Rinne, beating the former Vezina Trophy nominee to the blocker at 7:06 of the second period.


Temporarily holding a one-goal lead, Kiprusoff was forced to make a nice pad save off Bobby Butler before turning aside Legwand's rebound attempt.


Halischuk's wrister over a sprawled Kiprusoff 4:40 into the third period stood up to be the game winner.


"It's good to get the 1st one out of the way, get the nerves out."

-Carter Bancks on his first career NHL game


With an assist on Cervenka's first goal of the game, Baertschi has extended his point scoring streak to six games.


In order to get a look at some youth, Lee Stempniak, Mike Cammalleri, Mikael Backlund, Tim Jackman and Matt Stajan all sat out the game. Leland Irving and Brett Carson were also scratched.

Derek Smith (knee), Alex Tanguay (knee), Curtis Glencross (knee), Cory Sarich (upper body) and Steve Begin (upper body) also missed the game for the Flames due to injury.


The Flames get set to tackle the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (6 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before closing out the season in Chicago against the Blackhawks on Friday (6:30 p.m. MT, TSN).

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