Not the result the Nashville Predators wanted but, in the end, they still added a point in the standings.
In front of 15,654 at Bridgestone Arena, the Calgary Flames beat the Nashville Predators, 3-2, in the shootout. Goals by Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro forced overtime for Nashville but it wasn’t enough as the Flames notched their second win of the year.
Rinne was outstanding – especially late in the contest – and collected 26 saves in his first loss of the season. The opposing goaltender, Karri Ramo, kept his team in the game all night long and finished with 19 saves.
Nashville opened the scoring at 8:46 of the first period when Derek Roy noticed a cocked-and-ready Filip Forsberg in the far face-off circle. He got the puck to the 20-year old Swede and he one-timed it past Ramo for the early 1-0 lead.
Calgary would answer almost immediately when an innocent pass by TJ Brodie deflected off of Anton Volchenkov to tie the game.
“It’s good to score an early goal if the process is right,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “For me, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking at the process more and how we played the game and the things we’re doing. I would have traded the first goal for a better process.”
A few minutes into the middle frame, Colin Wilson took an ill-advised interference penalty that put the Flames on the power play. Not only were Mike Ribeiro and James Neal about to connect on a prime scoring chance for Nashville when Wilson took the penalty but Mark Giordano potted the go-ahead goal while he was in the box.
The Flames were a centimeter away from taking a two goal lead but Derek Roy was Johnny-on-the-spot clearing the puck off of the goal line at the absolute last possible moment. It was such a close call that, during the next media timeout, the war room in Toronto reviewed the play.
“It was a good play,” Laviolette said. “We had a breakdown and he was there to help us out.”
“That was a big clear,” Josi said. “It was a 2-1 game and 3-1 is tough to come back from.”
Nashville would respond, however, when Craig Smith wristed a shot on net through traffic. The puck found its way to Ribeiro while he was standing at the back door. The three-time 70-point scorer made no mistake and tallied his first goal as a member of the Predators to tie the game, 2-2.
“It felt good in the moment to be able to score that goal and tie the game and break the ice,” Ribeiro said. “I’d rather not score and win games and hopefully create more offense now and help the team win.”
Joe Colborne beat Rinne in the first round of the shootout which eventually gave the Flames the extra point.
Whether the game went to a shootout or not, Calgary was able to stifle Nashville’s attack all night long.
“I think they certainly did force the issue,” Laviolette said. “They worked really hard to forecheck and compete and create turnovers but that shouldn’t stop us from playing our game.”
“Our first period wasn’t very good,” Josi said. “They out-battled us and they played hard and we didn’t. It was definitely not our best overall game. We got one point but we wanted two in the end.”
The Predators will try to rebound against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre in Manitoba. The Jets are the consensus “favorite” to finish last in the Central Division and have started the season 1-2-0.
Puck drops at 7:00pm Central and you can catch all the action on 102.5 The Game.
MY THREE STARS (as votes on with 5:30 remaining in regulation):
1. Karri Ramo (CGY)
2. Craig Smith (NSH)
3. Pekka Rinne (NSH)
THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Mark Giordano (CGY)
2. Karri Ramo (CGY)
3. Craig Smith (NSH)
Your October 14, 2014 installment of Five Minute Overtime:
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // TheGameNashville.com