The Nashville Predator’s welcomed the Calgary Flames into the Bridgestone Arena for the first time this season, as the Preds looked to get back to their winning ways. Unfortunate that would not be the case as the Flames looked to start a winning streak of their own.
The Preds came into tonight’s game welcoming back two mainstays in their line-up. Both Erat and Rinne had missed at least 2 games, but not all the news was good as both Lombardi and Goc were put on IR with Lombardi missing 1-2 weeks with a concussion and Goc up to 4 weeks with a separated shoulder.
The first period was a past paced one, with both teams showing good speed as well as some good hits being thrown. Unfortunately for Nashville one of those hits came when Sarich went hard into Suter just three minutes into the game. It was a clean shoulder to shoulder check but would end up taking Suter out of the game with a lower-body injury. It did look though as he was grabbing his on the way up and did need quite a bit of help to get onto the bench after the play. Beyond that the play was fairly even with Hagman taking the only penalty of the period and both teams registering 12 shots on net.
Into the second period, both teams battled for control with Nashville controlling most of the play besides the odd shift here or there. Both teams took two penalties each but none converted. One save of note was with two minutes left in the second period Erat while on the power play looked to have a sure goal with Kiprusoff down and but he came across the crease just in time to rob Erat with the pad. Preds ended the period with another 12 shots and Calgary managed just 6 on Rinne.
Finally or so I though to the third period of play, as the period begins the Flames come out hungry and pressure the beaten down defence of the Preds for the first couple of minutes or so, before the Preds start to get some momentum of their own. This period was oddly similar to that of the third period with only the one Calgary penalty and the same amount of total shots. Just this time the flames had 14 shots and the preds had 10.
With basically nothing to report for the whole game finally we head to overtime, Calgary just 2:10 into the period created a scramble in front of Rinne and Bourque in his first game back wristed one past the Preds goaltender to secure the win for the flames. Kiprusoff ended the game with a 35 save shut-out and Rinne with 33 saves on 34 shots.
Good game in my opinion for the Preds considering they lost Suter just 3 minutes into the game. Al defenseman played over 20 minutes with Weber playing 29. The only exception was Franson who played 17 minutes.
I thought Kostitsyn had quite a good game considering who he was playing with. Created some good chances and showed some of that skill the Preds were hoping to see when they traded for him. Even though he ended with 0 shots on net I still think Trotz should bump his ice time up.
I noticed that Hornqvist tonight was playing hard as always but he seemed to miss a lot of shots and couldn’t keep a handle on the puck. Maybe it was just me as well but I didn’t see him get into the scrums in front of the net as he normally does. Only about 4 times I saw him truly crash the net the way I witnessed him do it last year.
Preds goaltending has been a sight to behold this year as both Lindback and Rinne has been suburb in all the games that they have played. I haven’t heard a complaint yet form fans.
As well I would like to say that I may finally be a believer in Klein. He struggled last year with Hamhuis and seems to have gotten over that and has played very well. Making big plays and tonight handling all the minutes Trotz could throw at him. Could be a decent replacement for Suter while he gone for a couple of games.
As for the Replacement of Suter goes, i would like to see Sulzer get a try and if he doesn't work out then try Johnson get the call.
That’s it for me tonight, next game not until Thursday.