NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A bad bounce for Nashville turned the game in Calgary’s favour.
Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk scored in the shootout to give the Flames a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Tkachuk and Micheal Ferland scored third-period goals for the Flames, who ended a two-game losing streak.
“To come back from behind against a really good hockey club, it’s a good growth game for everyone,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said.
Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi scored power-play goals in the first period for the Predators, losers of two straight.
“I thought we needed to play better (5-on-5),” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “That was my message throughout the whole game. I thought we needed to be faster. We needed to win more battles. We needed to do a better job of taking care of the puck.”
Mike Smith had 28 saves in regulation and overtime for Calgary. With 33 seconds left in overtime, Smith denied Colton Sissons from the low slot to send the game to the shootout, where he stopped two of Nashville’s three shooters.
The win was the 200th of Smith’s career.
“That was a huge character win,” Ferland said. “We came back after the first period being down 2-0, we thought we would just stick with it and keep battling and battling. We just kept putting pucks on net and we battled our way back.”
Nashville’s Kevin Fiala missed an opportunity to make the game 3-0 late in the second. Smith was behind the net, and the puck bounced out front. Fiala was all alone but missed the bouncing puck.
“That was a turning point,” Gulutzan said.
Tkachuk ended Pekka Rinne’s shutout bid with 9:25 left in the third with an impressive move off the right boards into the faceoff circle, where he beat Rinne with a wrist shot.
“In the second period, we really played good hockey,” Tkachuk said. “We got a lot of pucks to the net and we should have scored a couple. We got great goaltending from (Smith) and we really fed off the energy of producing chances. We knew they were going to fall, and in the third they did.”
Ferland tied the game just over 2 minutes later. Johnny Gaudreau sent a pass to Ferland skating through the slot, where he made an impressive forehand-to-backhand transfer before beating Rinne up high. Rinne finished with 29 saves.
“It’s disappointing being up 2-0 and I thought we had a better start at the third period,” Rinne said. “They scored right away and we just couldn’t get it going. It’s one of those things and good players make good plays and they were able to score a couple goals. It’s a disappointing feeling because that’s a game we needed to have.”
Forsberg, who opened the scoring, has five goals with a man advantage this season. He had three power-play goals all of last season.
Smith stopped Josi’s shot from the right post, but Forsberg was in front just outside the crease and poked in the rebound for his team-leading seventh goal.
Josi scored 1:14 later with a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle off a pass from P.K. Subban. Josi’s shot beat Smith high to the stick side.
Notes: The Predators have seven goals in 15 power-play opportunities at home this season. … Before Tuesday, Nashville had scored just two first-period goals in their first eight games combined. … It was the first shootout for either team this season. … Calgary is 5-2-0 against Western Conference teams.
Flames: At St. Louis on Wednesday.
Predators: At Chicago on Friday.
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