NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Calgary Flames are starting to feel at home when they play in Nashville.
Rene Bourque scored at 2:10 of overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
After winning their first three games of the season, the Predators have lost back-to-back games, both in overtime. Calgary has won two straight.
The victory was Calgary's fifth straight in Nashville. The Flames have not lost in Music City since Jan. 18, 2008. Dating back to the start of last season, the road team has won the past five matchups.
Parked in the low slot, Bourque corralled the rebound of a tough angle shot by Brendan Morrison and beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne on the stick side.
"It was kind of a broken play," Bourque said. "I think (Morrison) just tried to get it on net. It bounced in the air, hit my shoulder, went down to the ice, and I don't think the goalie knew where it was. It got to my stick, and that is when I shot it in the net."
After missing Calgary's past two games with a concussion, Bourque got his first goal of the season.
"As the game went along, he got better and better," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. "I thought in the last 12 minutes of the third period he really started playing that big-man's game where he had the puck a lot on his stick in the offensive zone, and obviously got a big goal for us in overtime."
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 34 shots for his first shutout of the season and 35th of his career.
"In this building, they go hard from the start," Kiprusoff said. "They shoot a lot, and we knew that and we were ready for that."
|DEPTH IN GOAL
|Five games into the season it’s hard to argue with the results posted by the Preds goaltenders. The Scandinavian duo of Pekka Rinne (Finland) and Anders Lindback (Sweden) have limited opponents to just 10 goals, ranking fourth in the NHL in goals against. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the Preds goaltending duo has been beat just four times during five-on-five play this season. At the same time Rinne and Lindback have averaged 31.2 saves per game with a .940 save percentage through the first five games of the season.
Considering Rinne missed three of those first five games makes the fast start even more remarkable.
And then consider the opposition Nashville's faced. The Preds goaltenders have accomplished all that while facing some of the elite snipers in the league – Opening Night saw Anaheim with the Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan line, then a trip to Chicago to face Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Saturday night brought Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom (two of the four NHLers to crack the 100 point mark last season) and the Washington Capitals to town, and then tonight was a match-up against Jarome Iginla and the Calgary Flames. Anaheim, Chicago, and Washington all finished among the top-7 highest scoring teams in the NHL last season.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Rinne saw his first action since being injured early in the third period of the Predators' season opener on Oct. 9th. He stopped 34 of 35 shots.
"I've been practicing pretty well the last few days, and I only missed three games, so it was not a huge break," Rinne said. "I was a little more nervous than usual, but it was still a good game for me."
While Rinne's return was positive for Nashville, the team lost defenseman Ryan Suter a little more than 2 minutes into the game with what the team called a lower-body injury.
The U.S. Olympian collided with Calgary defenseman Cory Sarich in front of the Nashville bench at 2:01 of the first. Suter left the ice immediately and did not return.
Following the game, his coach said that early indications are the injury is not serious.
"It is just a lower-body injury right now," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He might miss a little bit of time, but nothing major."
Entering Tuesday, Suter's 25:21 of average ice time trails only teammate Shea Weber's 25:37 for the team high. Suter has played in 208 consecutive games.
Notes: Nashville RW Martin Erat returned to the lineup after missing three games with back spasms. ... The Predators were 0-5 on the power play while the Flames went 0-2. ... Rinne is 0-3 in his career against Calgary.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On the status of Ryan Suter…
It’s just a lower-body injury right now. We’ll probably have a better update tomorrow.
No, not too serious. He might miss a little bit of time, but nothing major.
On getting at least one point in OT…
We’ll take any points we have. I thought in the first period we had a lot of chances; didn’t bury our chances. We had, I think it was Marty, on the power play, who kept himself down and out. We didn’t capitalize there. I had a feeling it was going to be a 1-0 game. I was hoping it was going to be more on the positive side.
On the play of Pekka Rinne…
He made a huge save in the second period. He came in all alone and on a little bit of break; he was really sharp. We’re getting good goaltending. We didn’t give up a whole lot of chances. We’re fighting through some injuries, and guys have to step up. We just need to convert on some of our chances right now. On the power play I thought we had a few chances, but in the last two games chances haven’t gotten us a goal. We needed at least one goal out of it, but I thought the penalty kill was much better tonight.
On having such a big early-season injury bug…
A lot of key guys are out right now; guys that can crunch a lot of minutes for us, be in the power play, win face-offs. There’s some experience out right now.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On both teams having plenty of scoring chances tonight…
I think both teams had good chances. I thought that we had great chances, but Kiprusoff played well and they played pretty solid defense. It was still a big point for us and obviously we will always take a point over losing all together.
On taking personal pride in battling against Kiprusoff in goal…
He is one of the top guys in this league. It doesn’t matter who you play against, you want to beat them but he is my countryman and he’s a great goalie.
On shaking off the rust …
I felt good. I’ve been practicing pretty well the last few days and I only missed three games so it’s not a huge break. Obviously, I was a little more nervous than usual but it was still a good game for me. There team had some long shots and they came at me hard during the game.
Defenseman Cody Franson
On picking up extra shifts when Suter went down during the first period…
It’s tough when we lose one of our top guys like that early but that’s what we are there for. We are there to welcome him, pick him up and play those minutes and I was grateful for the shifts that I got. It was just unfortunate that we couldn’t get the win.
On noticing the slower pace of the game early on…
It was a little bit more of a grinding type of game and there were chances both ways, but we just didn’t capitalize on the really good ones that we had and it came back to bite us.
Captain Shea Weber
On losing Ryan Suter early on in the game due to injury…
We’ve been pretty lucky for the most part and here lately we’ve been banged up early but the guys stepped in and they are going to have to continue to do that. Obviously, we are banged up pretty bad but we are confident in the guys that we have.
On getting a point out of every game so far this season…
We would’ve liked two points but it was a hard-fought battle, and it hurt losing Suter early like that, but the guys did a great job filling in.
On the mindset of losing a linemate early-on in the game…
I think that the forwards really helped up out tonight because we were going to get a lot more minutes. It’s a big hole like I said, but the guys are able to step up in here.