Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Predators Get a Point in Shoot-Out Loss to Flames
The Nashville Predators outplayed the Calgary Flames for the better part of the game but came away with only a single point in a 3-2 shootout loss at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.
Rene Bourque scored on the first shot of the shootout to seal the victory and much needed two points for the surging Flames who have now won five in a row and are now within two points of a playoff position in eight place in the Western Conference.
Calgary got goals in regulation from Matt Stajan and Cory Sarich while the Predators' markers came from Marty Erat and Patric Hornqvist. Sergei Kostitsyn also had two helpers for Nashville.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 25 of 27 Predator shots and all three in the shootout for the win. Pekka Rinne continued to play well but took the loss as he stopped 26 of 28 Flames shots but allowed the only goal in the skills competition at the end.
The Predators have now lost all three meetings with the Flames this season. The Preds have now lost three games in a row where they held the lead in the third period.
Shea Weber commented on the three losses, "At least we got one point tonight but we've got to figure out how to lock things down. It's 31 games left and if we don't find a way to get two points, we're not going to be in the playoffs."
After Calgary tied the game halfway through the third period the action turned into more of a chess match than a hockey game as neither team wanted to lose at shot at least one point.
Weber explained, "I don't know if both teams were just sitting back waiting to get the extra point but we've got to find a way to get the two points instead of waiting to overtime to try to win."
Barry Trotz agreed, "Both teams were trying to be real cautious and make sure you get at least a point. You're probably playing with a little less risk. They need points, we need points so they made sure they weren't playing with a lot of risk and we did the same."
The Predators ended the evening with 61 points and clinging to fourth place in the Western Conference.
The Predators will have little time to worry about the loss as they will have practice on Wednesday morning and then travel to Philadelphia where they will play the Eastern Conference leading Flyers at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass