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Predators 2 Flames 1: Inside the Game

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames



After a lsow start the Calgary Flames gained momentum and the lead in a game in which goals were hard to come by.

But,  in overtime, the Predators jumped on a loose puck in the Flames zone and J.P. Dumont scored 2:13 into the extra period to hand the Flames a 2-1 overtime defeat.

The Flames had their chances to put this game away but the power play wasn't able to click.

"We didn't deserve the win tonight," said head coach Mike Keenan.

"We definitely need some more goals and have to get the power play clicking on all cylinders," said forward Craig Conroy, the Flames lone scorer.

The Predators faought back in the third to tie the game 1-1 with 11:02 remaining when former Flame Scott Nichol's wrister hit Miikka Kiprusoff in the arm and deflected up into the top corner. That ended more than 100 minutes of shutout hockey by the Flames goaltender.

The Flames caught a big break when Shea Weber missed a cross-ice pass that bounced off the boards inside the Nashville zone where Craig Conroy picked up the puck and waltzed in on a breakaway to beat Dan Ellis and put the Flames up 1-0. For Conroy, it was his second goal in as many games.

Atthe time of the goal the Flames were being outshot 22-13 but they battled their way back into the shot game, finishing the second period down 25-17 in shots.

Tempers began to flare late in the second period when Dion Phaneuf, on the crease during a power play, was chopped after the whistle by Greg Zanon. Phaneuf was upset at the chop, which may have caught him on the hand. Although there was plenty of pushing and shoving, no fights resulted from the ensuing scrum.

Early in the first period Matthew Lombardi broke in on a partial breakaway with the Flames shorthanded. He got behind the defence but had the puck roll off his stick at the last second.
The Flames took the first two penalties of the game which negated the quick start they were looking for. By the time Owen Nolan had exited the box from the second penalty the Flames were being outshot 8-1 and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff had been sharp, stopping several blasts from the point during the power plays.

The Flames didn't really spark things up until late in the first period when the Predators took some penalties, leading to a lengthy five-on-three. Even so, the period ended tied and the Flames were outshor 14-6 by the visitors.

"We have to take the positives. We played two pretty good periods," said forward Daymond Langkow.

THE BIG SAVE: Miikka Kiprusoff was good all game and sharp from the start. He made a big save on Jerred Smithson, who was left wide open on the edge of the face-off circle and had a free shot. Kiprusoff shut down the short side to keep the score tied 0-0 late in the first period.
THE BIG HITS: Dion Phaneuf stepped into Vernon Fiddler at the Preds blueline with a pretty good jolt. Fiddler was unhappy with the hit and immediately began complaining to the referee who promptly told him to shut his mouth and play hockey.
THE TURNING POINT:  Defenceman Adrian Aucoin tries to make a play low in the Flames end but is stripped of the puck, leading to J.P. Dumont's game-winner in overtime.
QUOTABLE: "Obviously it is getting old. It's got to stop. We have to get better and soon." -- Flames forward Daymond Langkow on the Flames slow starts of late

THE ROSTER: The Flames scratches were D Rhett Warrener, D Anders Eriksson, F Marcus Nilson, F Mark Smith and F David Moss (ankle)

WORTH NOTING: The Predators were without the services of F Martin Gelinas (knee); F Steve Sullivan (back) and F Jed Ortmeyer (knee)...Predator forward J.P. Dumont has had a hot hand for the Predators since Dec. 29 as he has 15 goals and 23 assists in 28 games played, third most points in the league in that span. Entering the game he had four points against the Flames this season, evenly split between goals and assists...The Flames are 15-1-1-2 this season when Iginla has a multiple-point game...During Sunday’s Calgary Hitmen Minor Hockey Night at the Pengrowth Saddledome, Robyn Regehr will be onsite to help hockey players and enthusiasts with their shooting skills. Dr. Peter Nieman will also be available to speak with parents about meningitis...In the span of about a minute the Flames had two sticks break in the defensive zone. Stephane Yelle and Robyn Regehr had to defend without a stick...

BY THE NUMBERS: Jarome Iginla entered the game with 37 points in 31 games against the Predators and had scored three goals in three games against the Preds this season.  However, Iginla didn't score Friday and remains at 364 goals, tied for the franchise lead with Theo Fleury...The next closest Flames was Craig Conroy who had 25 points in 40 games...Calgary entered the game having gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games. They had 17 goals in that span, a little more than two per outing, but had allowed just 11 goals in the same span. That's s sign that things are getting tight down the stretch and that goaltending will play a big factor...
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