The Nashville Predators picked up a crucial point in the standings but came out on the losing end of a 3-2 overtime score against the Calgary Flames Thursday night at Pengrowth Saddledome. Nashville led 2-1 late in the third period but Calgary scored with 3:47 left in regulation to tie the game then got the overtime winner from Rhett Warrener 1:27 into the extra session.
Nashville's record for the season moves to 47-21-7. The point earned by reaching overtime clinches a playoff spot for Nashville and keeps the Predators one point ahead (101 points) of the Detroit Red Wings in the battle for the top spot in the Western Conference. Detroit lost in a shootout to Columbus Thursday.
Peter Forsberg set up both goals for Nashville. Jason Arnott netted the first one 10:04 into the opening period with a power-play tally. Calgary tied the game with it's own power-play marker 1:40 later, but Vern Fiddler made it 2-1 for Nashville just 43 seconds into Period 3. Late-season acquisition Craig Conroy tied the game at 2-2 at 16:13 and the Flames poured on the pressure. The Predators made it to overtime to secure the point but a defensive breakdown resulted in Warrener's game-winning tip-in goal that slipped through goaltender Chris Mason's legs and slowly creeped across the goal line.
The game was a relatively even one, with both teams going 1-for-5 on the power play and the shot totals finishing at 28-25 in favor of the Flames. As is typical of a meeting between these two clubs, physical play came to the forefront. Calgary edged Nashville in hits 22-19.
NOTES: Peter Forsberg posted two assists for his third multi-point game as a Predator... Jason Arnott scored Nashville's first goal and totaled 6 goals in the four-game season series against Calgary... Martin Erat, Scott Nichol, Jordin Tootoo and Steve Sullivan were scratched for the Predators.