Inside The Game: Flames vs. Predators

Tuesday, 14.01.2014 / 10:00 PM
Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)

GAME IN A MINUTE

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames couldn’t find the answer in their second game in 25 hours.

Ryan Ellis had a goal and an assist to lead Nashville’s third period charge while Carter Hutton made 22 saves as the Nashville Predators beat the Flames 4-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.

The loss splits Calgary’s two-game, back-to-back stint away from Scotiabank Saddledome after the Flames took a 2-0 shutout victory -- their first of the season -- over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Ellis broke a 1-1 tie less than a minute into the third period, carrying the puck into the Flames’ zone before getting into the high slot and uncorking a slap shot that rang off the post and in to put the Predators up 2-1.

Less than two minutes later on the power play, Craig Smith extended Nashville’s edge to two.

Mark Giordano thought he put a dent in that lead at 4:17. On the power play, the Flames captain knocked down the puck out of mid air before shoveling a rebound over Hutton, but referees ruled he did so with a high stick.

Viktor Stalberg added his sixth of the season, deflecting Ellis' point shot behind Ramo at 10:52 to put Nashville up 4-1.

Mikael Backlund pulled the Flames back to within two, powering the puck to the net and beating Hutton to bring Calgary back to within two and extend his goal scoring streak to three games.

Despite a push with Ramo on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, the Flames couldn’t complete the comeback in a game they never had the lead in thanks to Shea Weber’s goal at 15:52 of the first.

The Flames drew even just three minutes after Weber's first period tally.

Jiri Hudler faked a wrap around attempt and slid a pass that found the stick of Lee Stempniak, who found the back of the net to tie for his sixth goal of the season and first in 18 games to tie the game 1-1.

Ramo, who earned his first career NHL shutout Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes, was flawless in the second, making 10 of his 30 saves against the Predators in the middle frame.

GOAL OF THE GAME

Stempniak corralled Hudler’s pass into the slot and buried a shot behind a diving Hutton to snap a 17-game goalless drought.

SAVE OF THE GAME

Just over a minute into the second period, Ramo’s outstretched toe denied Eric Nystrom’s wraparound attempt to keep the game tied 1-1.

TURNING POINT

Two goals just 1:45 apart from Ellis and Smith gave the Predators enough of a cushion to coast to a 4-2 final on Tuesday.

STAT OF THE GAME

Scoring on Tuesday, Backlund has established a new career best with goals in three straight contests.

LINEUP NOTES

Mike Cammalleri (concussion), David Jones (eye) and Derek Smith were scratched for the Flames. Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), Blair Jones (torn meniscus) and Kris Russell (MCL sprain) all missed the game due to injury.

COMING UP

The Flames return to the friendly confines of Scotiabank Saddledome for a one-off against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (7 p.m. MT, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The Fan) before taking to the road for two against the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks.

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