Quality scoring chances add up, but are not enough for the Flames as Nashville finds a way to squeeze an extra past Kipper, in the 3rd, to make it a 2-1 win.
The low-scoring was set by two battling Fins for a win, and with two outstanding butterfly saves before the first 10 minutes, it was apparent that Kipper’s performance was the true reason the Flames had a fighting chance at all.
Minutes after the save-of-the-year times two, a shot blocked by Brodie ends up off Calgary’s youngster Carson (1st recorded NHL game tonight), and gives Halischuk his 6th of the year.
Noticeably the best line up of the night was the Jokinen, Kostopoulos and Jackman 4th line — making up the missing minutes from others who sit out to injuries or the ‘Flames-flu’ that has been going around.
After a lopsided 1st period (Preds’ out-shooting the Flames 8/16), the Flames ignited — skating hard with the Horak, Glencross and Tangs line.
Rinne completely robs Stajan for what could of been his first of the season. Stajan still hasn’t scored one in 35 games, something surely he is aware of. The same line drives hard to the net after an end-to-end play, letting Glencross back-hand a beauty, top-shelf, seven minutes into the 2nd.
And with Nashville continuing to back check, Roman Josi draws a penalty off Stajan with a minute left in the second. However, the PP continues into the 3rd with null results for the Flames.
Half way through the 3rd, an anxious Morrison ends up battling against Craig Smith to give Nashville their second PP of the night. And a minute in — an unfinished, outlet pass to Bouwmeester is picked off by Wilson, who takes advantage with a shot up high off a Kiprusoff rebound.
To say the chances were not there would just not be fair. Iginla, just 5 points shy of 500, let off 8 shots tonight. His presence in the 3rd existed, much like the 4th line, as they recording a combined 7 shots on net, complete with a Glencross goal.
It was a tough battle through to the end of the 3rd when Nashville continued to take up space in the neutral zone, not giving the Flames any room to set up.
But why can’t we just score that one last goal?
With the last few minutes on the horizon, the Flames up the pressure, and tension becomes moderately desperate. The last two minutes smell of a tie breaker, but Rinnie continued to be a stone wall — not letting in a single shot.
A desperate, final minute (and the most action in the game) wasn’t enough as the early powerplay goal burned the Flames three-game-winning streak into their four-game road trip.
The Flames continue to play static 500 hockey, and knowing that the next 11 of 13 games will be played on the road should be a hopeful wake up call.