Make it official
Six straight non-playoff years became a mathematical certainty last
night as the Calgary Flames ended a modest five game undefeated streak
with a 3-1 loss in Nashville.
The only bright spot in an otherwise moribund three hour bore fest
was Jarome Iginla's NHL leading 49th goal of the season, extending his
personal points streak to five games and leaving him with 92 on the
season, a ten point bulge on second place Markus Naslund of Vancouver.
Flames drop to 31-32-12-3 on the season, mired in 11th spot in the
NHL's Western Conference, seven points behind ninth and tenth place
Dallas and Vancouver. Calgary is eight points up on 12th place
The victory was only the third in 17 games for the faltering
Nashville opened scoring only 1:01 into the game when Vitaly
Yachmenev stripped Toni Lydman of the puck behind the Calgary net,
passing to a wide open Scott Hartnell who beat Flames starter Roman
Turek only 1:01 into the game.
Mike Dunham still had bells ringing in his ears after picking himself
up from a goal mouth collision only minutes before - delaying the game a
good five minutes - when Iginla snapped a shot through him at 15:20 of
Cement head Nathan Perrot, however, came back the next shift and
scored a soft goal from a poor angle on Turek, catching the Flames
netminder cheating away from the post at 16:20.
From there it was a grind 'em out kind of game, although the Flames
had plenty of opportunities to bring themselves even. In all, Calgary
had 10 power play chances to only four for the Predators.
Tomas Vokoun relieved a woozy Dunham in the second period only to be
flattened later by his own defenceman Karlis Skrastkins. A visibly
shaken Vokoun, with no one else on the bench to bail him out, gamely
hung in to the end of the second period then was strong enough in the
third to carry the Predators to victory.
Former Flame Steve Dubinsky finished things off for Nashville with an
empty net goal in the final minute.
If there were any doubts that Iginla's 50th goal is becoming a team
effort you need look no further than the incredible 28:05 in ice time
logged by the Flames winger in this one.
Flames outshot the Predators 32-24 in front of 15,361 fans at the
Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Scott Hartnell -
Nashville buzz had a
goal, four shots and
stood up for a
teammate when he
Derek Morris -
too late now but his
play has picked up
significantly in the
Tomas Vokoun -
Flames cranked it up
after he came in but
in spite of being
OF THE GAME
Greg Johnson in the
causing Hartnell to
jump him. The
ensuing fight was
fairly one sided in
OF THE GAME
closed his legs
quickly on a Jarome
Iginla one timer off
an Igor Kravchuk
pass, depriving the
Flames winger his
50th goal on a power
play mid-way through
the third period.
the game, flying
back to Calgary just
in time for the
birth of a son via
wife Ashley. . . . .
. . . .Mike Vernon
got into the game
for :58 seconds in a
move by Coach Greg
Gilbert late in the
third period. . . .
. . .Regehr has
stepped up his play
of late and led the
Flames with five
hits on the night.
Denis Arkhipov led
the Predators with
four hits . . . . .
. . . Craig Conroy
was an incredible
76% in the faceoff
circle, leading the
Flames who were a
collective 55% on
the night. Greg
Classen was 55% for
the Predators. . . .
. . . . It was a
rare negative night
line, each a minus
two on the evening.