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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Predators

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- It was a banner night for two first round picks of the Calgary Flames.

Only one was celebrating Friday night, though.

Eric Nystrom of the Nashville Predators recorded his first career hat trick as part of a four-goal night but Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner to lift the Flames to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Jiri Hudler scored in the second round of the shootout, only to be matched by Roman Josi. When Monahan scored in the fourth, he opened the door for Reto Berra -- who came on in relief of Karri Ramo -- to slam it shut, denying Ryan Ellis’ backhand attempt to give the Flames their second consecutive victory on home ice.

Trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the Flames sent the game past regulation with a wild third period.

After David Jones pulled Calgary to within one just 1:24 into the period, Nystrom put the Predators up 4-2 with his fourth goal of the game.

But with a 5-on-3 man-advantage, Mikael Backlund tipped Kris Russell’s point shot to cut that lead to 4-3 at 12:47. Just seconds after the second penalty had expired, TJ Brodie’s shot on net was deflected by Jones behind Predators goaltender Devan Dubnyk to tie the game.

Overtime solved nothing, setting the stage for Monahan’s heroics.

It didn’t take long for Nystrom to start enjoying the best game of his career.

He opened the scoring just 1:51 into the first period, picking up Gabriel Bourque’s bobble in the slot and ripping a shot by Ramo, off the bar and in.

Mark Giordano answered the goal just 1:32 later, ripping his eighth of the year over the shoulder of Dubnyk with Gaustad in the penalty box to tie the game.

Early in the second, Nystrom added his second of the night thanks in part to a fortuitous bounce. Roman Josi’s dump-in skipped right in front of Ramo, forcing the Flames goaltender to throw his body in front of it. A charging Nystrom scooped up the rebound and put it in the net just 1:50 into the period.

He recorded his third of the night at the six-minute mark, deflecting Paul Gaustad’s shot over Ramo, chasing the Flames starter after 12 shots.


After barely keeping the puck in at the blue line, Brodie’s shot from the point was deflected by Jones for his second of the night with just 6:24 remaining in regulation to force overtime and the subsequent shootout -- where Monahan recorded the winner.


With the game on the line, Ramo stared down Ellis' backhanded attempt, lifting his pad to take away a virtually empty net to give the Flames back-to-back wins on home ice.


Goals just 1:09 apart from Backlund and Jones late in the third period helped turn a two-goal deficit into an eventual shootout winner Friday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.


With his first period goal, Giordano extended his point-scoring streak to six games -- a new career high.


Ben Street was scratched against the Predators. Mike Cammalleri (concussion), Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), Ladislav Smid (lower body) and Brian McGrattan also missed the game due to injury.


The Flames will play the third of their five-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 p.m. MST, TSN, Sportsnet 960 The Fan).

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