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Mully's Musings: at Calgary

by Bryan Mullen / Nashville Predators
Calgary and Nashville had met one time this season. It came on Oct. 22 and Nashville shut out the Flames 2-0.

Calgary turned the tables on Tuesday.

The Predators were blanked for the first time in 2011-12 and fell 1-0 to the Flames to even the series at 1-1. One night after beating Edmonton 2-1 and receiving a strong offensive push, the Preds struggled to get much going and didn’t take advantage of multiple scoring chances. A high number of shots went wide of the net, there were few chances off rebounds, and there was little traffic in front of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

The Preds wrap up their five-game road trip at Vancouver on Thursday. With a win, Nashville would earn four out of a possible 10 points from the trip. It’s not what the Preds planned as they hit the road, but a win would make for a nicer trip back to town. Now the musings…

Offense not helping Rinne: One goal by Nashville would have been good enough to earn the Preds a point. Instead, Pekka Rinne did all he could do and his team still came away with a regulation loss. Rinne returned as the starter after getting a breather the night before at Edmonton. He stopped 28 of 29 shots and the only goal he allowed came when Calgary broke out on a 2-on-1, with Jay Bouwmeester finishing it off. Rinne kept Nashville in the game when he stopped a flurry of shots with five minutes to go in regulation, but it went for naught as the Preds were unable to tie the game.

Golden opportunity: Entering Tuesday, Nashville had scored 25 goals in the third period, good enough for eighth in the NHL. Even more impressive, that came in only 23 games. The Preds appeared poised to add to that total when they went on the power play with five minutes to go in the third. Captain Shea Weber showed urgency, kept two pucks in – one with his hand, one with his stick – and fired multiple shots. His teammates seemed to feed off his energy, which was a good reaction to see, but it was too little too late, especially with Kiprusoff on top of his game.

The rookie looks ready: Preds rookie defenseman Roman Josi didn’t do anything to make him stand out from the rest of the players on the ice, and that’s not a bad thing. Playing in only his second NHL game, Josi was poised once again and showed a nifty wrist shot. He played 17:00, more than fellow defensemen Kevin Klein and Jack Hillen, and is showing signs that he could be a staple on the roster.

D Shea Weber: “We did a pretty good job defensively helping Peks out. They didn’t get too many chances. If we can get some more chances on offense, we’ll be fine. We’re going into a tough building (on Thursday at Vancouver) and playing a tough team. We have to play well and generate more offensively.”

G Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary: Stopped 26 shots for the shutout
D Derek Smith, Calgary: Game-winning goal
G Pekka Rinne, Nashville: Stopped 28 of 29 shots

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