NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Todd Bertuzzi scored with 23.4 seconds remaining in the third period to lead the Calgary Flames to their fifth straight win with a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon.
Nashville's loss was its fourth in a row.
With time winding down in the third, Bertuzzi capitalized on a turnover by Nashville defenseman Dan Hamhuis deep in the Predators' zone. Bertuzzi skated toward the net from the right side and snapped a shot by Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis.
The teams traded first-period goals with Nashville's Jerred Smithson opening the scoring at the 9:11 mark. Curtis Glencross answered at 18:44 for Calgary.
Smithson's goal was his second of the season. He beat Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot.
|PK Units Steal the Spotlight|
The PK units for both teams came up huge and allowed both teams to generate momentum at then-crucial moments. Each team killed off five power-plays against, Nashville limiting Calgary to just three shots on goal, while Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff stopped all eight shots the Preds power-play fired his direction.
Glencross drove from behind the Nashville net and beat Ellis with a backhand high to the stick side.
Jason Arnott broke the 1-1 tie at 11:57 of the second period.
In the left corner of the Calgary zone, Martin Erat sent a pass to J.P. Dumont at the left faceoff dot. Dumont faked a slap shot, freezing Kiprusoff in the process, and then slid a pass to Arnott skating in on the right side. Arnott put the puck into the vacated net for his 15th goal of the season.
Arnott, the Nashville captain, has three goals and two assists in three games against the Flames this season.
Daymond Langkow's goal at 12:46 of the third tied the game 2-2.
Calgary managed five shots on goal in the second period despite having four power plays. The Flames and Predators were both 0-for-5 on the power play.
Notes: Glencross was playing in his second game back after missing six with a knee injury. ... Smithson's goal was his first since Oct. 25, a 29-game drought. ... After ending an 11-game stretch without a goal, Arnott has two in his past three games. ... Craig Conroy recorded his 500th career NHL point.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On any miscues in the third period…
“No, they came hard, we came hard. They only had four chances to score and we probably had the same. The third period was real even, we just didn’t capitalize on our chances. There’s not a whole lot that I can say.”
On turnovers resulting in goals…
“Yes, partial turnovers and a little bit of a hard forecheck were the result.”
On Calgary playing behind the net…
“Yes, they play against the grain a little bit. They do a lot of net cycle, like jamming the net and crashing the net. That’s how they score their goals. Their three goals were typical of how they usually score their goals. They score them from there, they score them from the power play and they score them from a crash the net type of thing. Their goals against us were against the grain types of goals. I think with the second one, Ellis made the save, it hit his pad and for whatever reason it looked like it went off his back.”
On forwards supporting more in that type of situation…
“You can’t have all of your forwards at the goal line, there are other options. You’ve got to protect the net and if they try to wrap around, you’ve got to protect the crease, so there’s a lot of emphasis on boxing out, tying sticks up, low coverage, and a low forward helping out a little. When your off-side forwards have an attacker, you can’t put all your forwards at the goal line, so it’s just a matter of being real strong and they have a big team. They are No. 1 in the Northwest and we haven’t had a lot of success against the Northwest for some reason. I think we are 3-10 against that division. We’ve had strange games against Calgary this year.”
On this being a more frustrating loss…
“Yes, it is. You feel like going into the third, you feel like because you have two goals, that you might get one and they scored with 20 seconds to go. We moved the puck, but Bertuzzi just jumped on it and our low forward didn’t have a good position and didn’t read and lost position. He tucked it under the bar and it was close so it’s one of those things. When I went in the locker room, I didn’t have a whole lot to say.”
On what they did right…
“I thought we did a lot of good things. We played a very good team and we played hard. I thought penalty killing was excellent, especially in the second period. We killed a lot of penalties and we fought through that because we had a couple back-to-back. And we came back and scored a goal right after that. It is disappointing. I think we should have had one point for sure and we’d be playing in overtime right now.”
Forward Jerred Smithson
On losing four straight…
"We have to pick it up, find a way to win and play some good hockey."
On the penalties…
"They are a good team. We had penalty trouble—which didn’t help—in the second and a little bit in the third. We managed to kill them off but like I said we need to find a way to win."
On stopping Calgary from scoring…
"It is difficult and they are good at it. We talked about it before the game… they are good at getting pucks to the net and obviously we didn’t learn."
Goaltender Dan Ellis
On playing well until just before the end of the game…
"We did play well defensively; it’s just the little key errors that are really costing us. We play a second and third period like we did and then we have one little bad play that turns out to be the game-winning goal. Those are the little things that we really need to bear down on—those errors—because that is what is costing us. The D was outstanding, we played a great team game and we came up short."
On the play of the team…
"We played the third team in the conference hard and we gave them difficulty coming into our building to win the game. We played strong as a group, we got pucks to the net, we got an early lead and we defended very well until the last couple seconds."
On having to play desperate now…
This past month that we just played was our month to make some headway. We played the teams that were little lower in the standings or the middle of the standings and now we are playing the tough teams—Calgary, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Montreal—those are the teams where we are really going to need to bear down on. Our power play is really going to need to pick it up and get us points, our PK needs to continue to be strong and everyone has to step up and elevate their game.