Coach Barry Trotz
Dan Hamhuis, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne
Brent Sutter, David Moss and Adam Pardy
The Calgary Flames showed the Nashville Predators exactly why they sported a 9-1-3 road record coming in to Monday night's game at the Sommet Center where they blistered the Preds in a 5-0 loss.
The game was never in doubt after the Flames took a 2-0 lead on a Nigel Dawes power play goal at 4:39 of the second period. Barry Trotz described the third goal by Adam Pardy at 8:09 in the third as "game, set, match."
At the end of the third period it got downright ugly as the Flames scored twice on an early empty netter at 16:01 and a Jerome Iginla power play goal with 1:07 left.
The Preds had survived the opening period and remained tied 0-0 through 20 minutes, but the game was not really that close. The Predators were out-shot 12 to 6 and never really looked comfortable with puck possession as the Flames powerful forecheck kept the Preds scrambling for puck possession for the whole period..
Pekka Rinne was stellar at times stopping numerous Flames scoring chances on mismatches and from point blank range but finally gave in to the intense pressure and surrendered 4 goals on 29 shots.
Flames Play Their Most Complete Game of the Year
The Calgary Flames were already one of the best road teams in the NHL and played their most complete game of the season against the sometimes sluggish Predators.
"I thought for sixty minutes we stayed with it," Coach Brent Sutter said. "Tonight we did a real good job of playing smart hockey and our puck management was very good."
Big Disparity in Special Teams Play
The Flames had a great night on special teams getting two power play goals and a shorthanded empty netter while the Predators fell back into very mediocre play on the power play as well as the Penalty kill.
"I didn't think our penalty kill was very good tonight, and we didn't get anything on our power play," said Barry Trotz. They got two power play goals and a short-handed goal. That's three of their five goals."
Kiprusoff Wins The Battle of Finnish Goal Keepers
Pekka Rinne did not play his best game and did not receive the usual amount of support in front of him from the Predator defense. He finished the game giving up four shots on 29 shots.
At the other end of the ice, Mikka Kiprusoff had an outstanding game stopping all 22 Predator shots and received first star of the game honors.
Pekka Rinne summed the game up well saying, "We battled hard. We did a lot of right things, but tonight they were better."
After practice Tuesday morning the team will leave for Minnesota to play the Wild on Wednesday before heading to Chicago for an important division match-up on Friday. They return home Saturday for a re-match with the Wild which will start another four game home stand.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass