Preds extinguished by Flames on home ice
by Jackson Walsh
For the first time in a good week, the Nashville Predators come away with zero points at Bridgestone Arena with a 4-3 regulation loss to the Calgary Flames. Even though it nearly had the same late heroics as Tuesday’s thriller, the boys couldn’t get more magic in the waning seconds.
This would be a contest where the Predators would see two leads. They opened up the scoring at 13:45 into the first period off a back door tip in from Ryan Johansen. Nashville 1-0.
Those pesky Flames don’t know how to go away and stay away. Matthew Tkachuk, on the power play where the Flames kept chipping away around Rinne, would nod the score 1-1 off a backhand shot 19:16 in the opening period.
The Preds would go up 2-1 9:30 into the second off a redirect from the stick of a not oft-goal scorer Yannick Weber. It would not take the Flames long to answer, as on yet another power play, Dougie Hamilton buried a shot to tie the game at two.
It was all Calgary in the third, two tough shots past Rinne, one back door from Mark Janikowski (3:24, 3rd) and one hard slap shot from Curtis Lazar (10:14, 3rd) put Calgary up 4-2. The attempt for late game heroics began on another late Nashville goal scored off a steal and a rebound by Nick Bonino at 12:19. Preds now trail 4-3.
In a situation that seemed like destiny, the Preds spent nearly the last 2:13 of regulation with a man advantage, which they later went 6-on-4 pulling Rinne. Kevin Fiala nearly knotted the game up at four, but the strong glove of Rittich barely kept the puck out upon further review.
It was a game that maybe third place Calgary needed more. The boys never say die spirit is still inspiring to us all.
Oh well. Wings on Saturday, y’all.