CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Barry Trotz thinks Calgary coach Darryl Sutter is sending the NHL back into its dark ages.
After Sergei Zholtok scored an empty-net goal with 2.9 seconds remaining in the Nashville Predators' 3-1 win over the Flames on Saturday night, Sutter sent out the rugged foursome of defenseman Robyn Regehr, to take the faceoff, left-wing Krzysztof Oliwa, and defensemen Rhett Warrener and Mike Commodore.
A brawl quickly ensued.
``They had four puppets out there to do something,'' Predators coach Trotz said. ``Obviously, that's premeditated. You look over and Darryl's talking to Oliwa, and he's got Regehr taking the draw. I just told our guys to back off.
``Obviously, we're trying to clean up the game and Sutsy keeps putting it back in the 1930s.''
Several skirmishes took place simultaneously, including one between the goalies, Tomas Vokoun of Nashville and Miikka Kiprusoff of Calgary.
Flames assistant coach Rich Preston and Trotz could be seen angrily yelling at each other from their respective benches.
``Obviously, the league should get into it. I don't really know what got them upset but there will be a time and a place,'' Trotz said. ``We can play payback. We didn't have some of our bigger guys in there tonight and we have a long memory.''
Sutter denied there were any bad intentions.
``We were going to be a man short, it's no big deal, there's two seconds left in the hockey game,'' Sutter said. ``Drop the puck, nothing happens, that's it. Certainly, there was no message.''
Commodore said it was the result of a frustrating night for Calgary, which had its seven-game unbeaten streak snapped.
``Emotions were running high, it was a big game for us, we were pumped up for it all night,'' he said. ``It's not the first time and it's definitely not the last time that stuff is going to happen.''
Martin Erat scored the go-ahead goal at 17:35 of the second period and Scott Hartnell also scored for the Predators, who moved into seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race with 82 points, a point ahead of St. Louis. The Blues lost to Dallas earlier Saturday. Nashville trails the Flames by four points for sixth place.
Jarome Iginla scored his 38th of the season for Calgary, which trails Dallas and Vancouver by three points for fifth place in the West.
Erat took a pass from Vladimir Orszagh behind the Flames net then circled out front and patiently waited for Kiprusoff to go down before scoring his 14th of the season over Kiprusoff's shoulder.
Despite playing Edmonton on Friday, the Predators looked more energetic, especially in the third period as they held the Flames without a shot for the first 13 minutes and a total of just two for the period.
Nashville held a 31-21 edge in shots.
Vokoun started his 18th game in the past 19 and rebounded with an excellent outing after giving up five goals against Edmonton in the Predators' 5-4 loss to the Oilers.
Nashville tied it at 1-all with less than a second left in the first period on a goal by Hartnell.
Calgary scored 3:23 in when Steve Montador's shot from the blue line was tipped through Vokoun's pads by Iginla in the slot.
``They were a little more hungry and it showed,'' Iginla said. ``We were up 1-0 and we give up a goal with a second left in the first period, that was desperation on their part hanging in there and finding a way to get that important goal.''