Skip to main content

Flames chase Rinne in win over Predators

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Pekka Rinne's night at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday was even shorter than his stint at Rogers Arena 24 hours earlier.

One night after he was pulled in the second period of Nashville's 7-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, Rinne lasted just eight minutes and allowed goals on the only two shots he faced in Nashville's 6-3 loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames.

"It's embarrassing," Rinne said. "I have no excuses. It's just embarrassing. I have to find a way to help my team and it's been a tough go the last two games but at the same time, just somehow have to erase these two games."

The loss in Calgary didn't fall on Rinne, according to center Mike Fisher.

"He didn't have a chance," he said. "We left him out to dry. It was the same story as last game."

Chasing Rinne lifted the Flames to their sixth consecutive win on home ice, spliced between a three-game losing streak through California last week.

"A hockey schedule, it's game after game," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "You can't sit too long on success or you can't sit too long on defeats. Credit to our players, they turned it around."

Though Curtis Glencross had a third-period hat trick, it was the duo of Mark Giordano and Blake Comeau that sent Rinne to the bench early.

Giordano danced around Brandon Yip at the point and tucked Calgary's first shot of the game over Rinne's blocker and just under the crossbar at 6:20 to put the Flames up 1-0.

"It was pretty good traffic," Rinne said. "I knew that from where he's standing he can shoot to my blocker side. I was more guessing than anything. He made the shot through traffic and it was just a terrible start to the game."

Comeau added his second in as many games just 1:40 later. Hauling the puck up ice on a 3-on-2, Mikael Backlund fed a cross-ice pass to Jiri Hudler, who relayed the puck to Comeau in the slot. Comeau buried his third of the season to chase the Predators goaltender from the game.

"It was huge," Giordano said of the fast start. "They're a great defensive team and have great goaltending, so it's huge."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz wasn't willing to hang the loss on Rinne, who leads the NHL with five shutouts but has failed to finish the game in four of his last eight starts.

"I pulled Pekka right off the bat," Trotz said. "It wasn't his fault. It was just they recovered the breakdowns. We're in the situation where guys are standing alone in front of our net. I'm not going to ask our goaltenders to make those kind of saves."

The Flames beat backup Chris Mason 3:38 into the second period with Zach Boychuk sitting out a holding penalty. Cammalleri found Hudler cruising through the slot, and Hudler redirected Calgary's ninth shot of the game behind Mason, snapping a personal 14-game goal-scoring drought and giving Calgary a 3-0 lead.

Gabriel Bourque found the back of the net with Nashville's ninth shot 1:36 later to get the Predators on the board. Bourque tipped Shea Weber's power-play blast behind Flames' goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for his team-high ninth of the season to make it 3-1.

But Glencross took over in the third period.

He restored the Flames' three-goal lead 1:14 after the period-opening faceoff. Glencross drove to the net and was in the right place when Stempniak's shot rang off the far post but came out and ricocheted off Glencross and into the net.

Fisher answered the goal two minutes later, but Glencross restored the three-goal edge at 5:32 with his 11th of the season.

With time ticking down, David Legwand chipped one over Kiprusoff to cut the lead to 5-3 with 2:19 remaining, but Glencross hit the empty net to complete his hat trick.

On Western Night in Calgary, the goal triggered a cascade of hats.

"After I got the second one, I said 'It would be kind of cool to see a whole bunch of cowboy hats come on the ice," Glencross said. "It's a little different. Doesn't happen very often."

The win was a good sendoff for a three-game trip that begins Monday in Dallas.

"We have to draw some confidence from our home game," Hartley said

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.