Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Game Recap: Predators Lose to Flames 3-1

Coach Barry Trotz Postgame Comments

Dan Ellis, Steve Sullivan, Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Suter postgame comments

Coach Brent Sutter, David Moss, Daymond Langkow and Miikka Kiprusoff postgame comments

Coming into the contest between Nashville and Calgary, the Flames had won four in a row and the Preds had won three straight, so one streak was going to be broken. Calgary came out on top of a hard fought 3-1 battle on a bitter cold night at the Sommet Center.

The Flames had goals from David Moss, Olie Jokinen and an empty netter from Daymond Langkow. Six different Flames had assists.

The Predator's lone goal came from Patric Hornqvist who moved into a tie with Mary Erat for the team lead in goals with 14.

The game was a close battle until halfway through the second period when David Moss scored a goal on a mad scramble around the Pred's net.

"It hit me up high and I thought it was down on my pad," Dan Ellis explained. "They kept scrumming around so I thought maybe it had fallen loose so I tried to cover as much ice as possible. I thought I had possession of it long enough to get a whistle but obviously the ref thought the puck was loose and in the end it still was."

As the second period wound down, Olie Jokinen got a handy rebound off a shot from Dion Phaneuf and place it in the open side of the net past Dan Ellis to give the Flames a 2-0 lead to end the period.

At 13:45 in the third period, Patric Hornqvist brought the Predators within one with a power play goal on a shot from beside the net. Hornqvist continues to improve his play in the hard areas near the blue ice and has become a key component of this team.

The Predators played desperate hockey down the stretch and were pounding shots in the direction of the Flames net until the game was put away by Daymond Langkow's empty netter with 19 seconds left in the contest.

Miikka Kiprusoff was outstanding in net getting the win and stopping 27 of 28 Predator shots. Dan Ellis played well enough to win, stopping 31 of 33 Flames' shots but suffered from lack of support by the offense.

Ryan Suter was highly complementary of Miikka Kiprusoff, "(Kiprusoff) is better than advertised. He had traffic in front of him all night and he stopped them until the third period."

With the win, Calgary jumped past Colorado into the lead of the Northwest division with 55 points. The Predators fell into a ties for sixth with Los Angeles with 53 points.

Storylines from the Game

Flames Continue to Play Tough on the Road...

The Flames have taken both games from the Preds at the Sommet Center this year. Calgary improved their conference best road record to 13-5-3.

"They play simple hockey," said Steve Sullivan. "They play defense first and wait for their opportunities and they got a fifty goal scorer for how many years in a row. They are dangerous, and a strong hockey club. Their one of the best in the West."

When asked about Calgary's success on the road Barry Trotz said, "We find the same thing that we can get guys to buy in a little easier on the road because it’s you against the world. They seem to play a very detailed game on the road and play hard. They’ve got a good team. They’re hard to play. Tonight they were just a little bit better."

Flames' Second Goal was a Killer...

The turning point in the game was Calgary slipping a goal in with only 18 seconds left in the second period to take a two goal lead into the dressing room at the second intermission.

Barry Trotz very frustrated by the goal, "For them it was great timing. For us, it couldn’t have been worse. It was a one goal hockey game. You’re one puck away, and then all of a sudden you’re two pucks back, three to win. That was huge."

Trotz continued, "I just wish we could have those 18 seconds back in the second period. You might have been looking at overtime, just like Canada and the US."

Ryan Suter explained the frustration of the goal, "When you give up a goal at the end of the period or at the beginning of the period, it usually comes back to bite you."

Too Little, Too Late...

The Predators played fairly average for two periods but went into the third period down 2-0 with Olympic goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in net. They got withing a goal with 6:15 left and had several chances down the stretch but never could tie the game up.

Barry Trotz discussed the effort late in the game, "Today we played hard, but we were missing that little edge until we got down two pucks and then finally got that goal. In the third we played very well, in terms of forcing them to take penalties. Looking back, 20/20, that second goal was absolutely monumental for them."

Dan Ellis was positive about the Preds play late in the game saying, "The first two periods we weren't overly engaged in the game but once the third period rolled around we started to get it going but it was a little bit too late."

'If we had played with a little more desperation early on it could have been a different outcome, said Ryan Suter. "We didn't and they did, and they won."

Patric Hornqvist said, "If we play the same game we played in the third we will win a lot more hockey games this year."

Up Next...

The Predators will play Carolina Thursday night and then the Ducks on Saturday to close out the homestand.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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