5 - 3
CALGARY -- Despite a flurry of chances in the third period, the Calgary Flames were unable to get past the red-hot Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon.
"It was a game we definitely feel we should have gotten at least one, maybe two points out of. Unfortunately, that's been a little bit of a story (for us)," said Jarome Iginla
. "We've got ourselves in a little bit of a rut in third periods. We're not closing it out and finding ways to get points out of it and wins."
The Flames did put 30 shots on net and limited the Predators to 20 shots against. Iginla said that while the loss is tough to swallow, he's was impressed with his team's effort.
"We did a lot of good things tonight," Iginla asserted. "Our power play was better. Our penalty killing was strong. We got our scoring chances.
"We have a few days to get away from it and stop pressing, stop pushing. If you look at our last five or six games, I don't know how many third periods we've been in a pretty good position and we haven't been able to close it."
The offensively potent Predators struck first with a quick wrist shot from Martin Erat. The goal came on Nashville's first shot on net. David Legwand put the Predators ahead by two eight minutes later with a wrist shot through traffic.
Dion Phaneuf got the Flames on the scoreboard, notching his second power play goal in as many games. He one-timed an Iginla pass through a crowd and Ellis had no chance to track down the rocket before it flew over his shoulder.
Iginla then drew the Flames even at 2-2 with his patented wrister from the right-hand side of the net. The perfectly-placed shot beat Ellis stick-side and gave the captain his 18th of the campaign.
The captain then put on a show to score the Flames third marker. He threw a hard shot on net and then went to grab his own rebound. Iginla tripped, kicked the puck to stick and shot the puck past Ellis and off Nashville blueliner Dan Hamhuis.
In the dying minutes of the second stanza, Marcel Goc snapped a Joel Ward rebound past a sprawled Miikka Kiprusoff, making it a tie game after 40 minutes of play.
Cody Franson picked up his second point of the night when he beat Kiprusoff with a shot from the blueline. It was the fourth goal allowed by the Flames and marked only the third time this season Kiprusoff has given up four or more tallies.
The Flames put on the pressure after that, wiring shot after shot at Ellis but just couldn't find the back of the net. Despite the loss, the players said they were happy with the effort put forth in the third period.
"I thought tonight were a lot better, that we pushed in the third," Mark Giordano said. "That one scoring chance and they get a good break, you know. I thought we had a lot of quality chances when we were down by one and it just wouldn't go. I thought compared to against LA, when we sat back a bit, tonight I thought we really pushed."
Dave Scatchard added an empty-netter to give the Predators a fifth goal.
The Flames have a few days off before they take on St. Louis. The Blues will be in town on Wednesday for the Flames last game before Christmas. Game time is 7:30 p.m. MST on TSN & The FAN 960.
|WHY CALGARY LOST |
|The Nashville Predators have been an offensive powerhouse lately and the Flames just couldn't match them in goals. They had several opportunities to score the equalizer but were either denied by Ellis or blocked the Nashville defense. The bounces didn't go their way and even with sustained pressure for the second half of the third period, the Flames just couldn't get that all-important tying marker. || |
|GAME NOTES |
|Staffan Kronwall and Brandon Prust were healthy scratches. Jason Arnott and Alexander Sulzer were the Nashville scratches ... this was the second game of the four-game season series between the two clubs. The Flames beat the Predators 5-0 on Nov. 30 in Nashville ... the Flames will play five of the next six games at home. They play two more games at the Saddledome before heading to Edmonton to take on the Oilers on Dec. 28. || |
|THE NUMBERS GAME |
|This afternoon marked only the 10th time the Flames have not scored first in a game this season ... the Flames have now scored power play markers in 4 straight games ... Robyn Regher played in his 700th game ...Iginla potted both his 18th goal and assist of the year. Olli Jokinen also earned his 18th helper of the year ... Kiprusoff has only allowed 4 or more goals 3 times this season ... Iginla now has 460 career assists ... Phaneuf had 6 shots on net, leading all players ... Craig Conroy won 67 per cent of his draws. || |
|THE BIG SAVE |
|During the second period, J.P. Dumount had a golden opportunity to draw his team even when he took a quick pass from the neutral zone while the Flames were on the line change. He steamed in, looking to beat Kiprusoff glove side but the Flames netminder read the play all the way and came out to thwart Dumount's breakaway chance. || |
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |