NASHVILLE -- Lance Bouma scored two goals to help the Calgary Flames defeat the Nashville Predators 5-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.
Calgary (41-28-7) moved one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles has a game in hand.
"Everyone knows the importance of this game, and everyone really played like a playoff game and really took charge and wanted to be a difference-maker in the game," Bouma said. "When we have that, when we have all four lines going and all our [defensemen] going, we’re a hard team to beat. That’s for sure."
Nashville (47-22-8) remained in first place in the Central Division with 102 points, three more than the St. Louis Blues, who have two games in hand. The Predators were the first team to clinch a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference after a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Roman Josi gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 6:17 of the first period on a slap shot from the point that went past Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller. Josi took the pass from forward Mike Santorelli and shot it through traffic for his 15th goal.
"I did like Roman’s game tonight," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "He was moving the puck, he jumped into the play, he was trying to create. Really, he’s had an all-around impact if you think about it. He’s been one of the top defensemen in the League the entire year."
Bouma tied the game 1-1 at 9:13 on a wrist shot from the slot that got past Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton. Bouma drove to the middle of the ice and took a shot through the legs of Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm for his 15th goal.
"The puck just kind of stuck with me the whole way," Bouma said. "I was actually kind of surprised that it came back to me so many times. I just wanted to get it through. The guy blocked the first one, and then I just tried to shoot it quick. Luckily, it found the five-hole there."
Kris Russell gave the Flames a 2-1 lead at 17:46 on a shot from the point that went through traffic and past Hutton. Russell took a pass from forward Sean Monahan and took the shot for his fourth goal.
"I felt that we’ve played many great games since we started the year, but more importantly the last couple of weeks, and tonight I really believe that we played I would say our most complete game in a long time," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Not that the others were not good. Tonight, I’m so proud of our four lines, our six [defensemen]. Jonas Hiller came up with some big saves at the right time so it’s a big team win, feels great."
"It felt awesome," Ferland said. "I was always itching to get that first one, and I always imagined how it’d feel. I feel like I’ve got 200 pounds off my back now. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had, for sure."
Jiri Hudler gave the Flames a 4-1 lead at 11:53 on a breakaway. Hudler retrieved the puck in the Nashville zone and took a wrist shot that beat Hutton through the five-hole for his 28th goal.
"He’s awesome," Bouma said of Hudler. "He’s such a skilled player, and he’s a tough player to contain. He’s a great veteran and a great leader, and he’s a guy that’s been huge for us all year long."
Nashville defenseman Seth Jones made it 4-2 at 9:55 of the third period on a wrist shot that went off of the crossbar and into the net. The goal came while Nashville had an extra attacker during a delayed penalty. Jones took the pass from forward Mike Ribeiro and set a career-high with his seventh goal.
Bouma added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds remaining.
"I think we were good all night long tonight," Bouma said. "Obviously they put some pressure on us in the third period, but for the most part tonight we did a really good job of playing our game and making sure that we played behind them. We didn’t turn over many pucks tonight so that’s going to be key for the rest of the way here."
Calgary forward Paul Byron missed the game because of a lower-body injury after returning to the lineup Friday in a 4-2 loss at the Minnesota Wild. Byron had missed 17 consecutive games with an undisclosed injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
"Just pain," Hartley said. "Just pain. He’s a warrior. He wanted to go. We made the decision for him."
Nashville defenseman Shea Weber missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.