CALGARY — Mikael Granlund scored the eventual game-winner and also added an assist on Thursday to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
After assisting on the tying goal in the first, Granlund made it three straight goals for the visitors at 9:06 of the second, poking in a rebound after Cam Talbot had stopped the initial blast from the blueline by Roman Josi.
The power-play goal came on the Predators’ only man advantage of the game.
Dante Fabbro and Kyle Turris also scored for Nashville (26-20-7), which has won four of its last five to climb within one point of the Flames for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Predators hold two games in hand.
Off to a 2-0-0 start, the third stop of Nashville’s four-game road trip is Saturday night in Edmonton.
Sam Bennett and Rasmus Andersson had the goals for Calgary (27-22-6). After losing all three games on their homestand, the Flames head out on a four-game road trip that begins Saturday night in Vancouver.
Calgary was without captain Mark Giordano (hamstring), his first game missed due to injury since February 2015. The Flames captain is out week-to-week with. In the absence of the club’s ice-time leader, Travis Hamonic jumped up to the top pairing to join TJ Brodie. That pair was on the ice for all three Predators goals.
Juuse Saros made his second straight start and was sharp again. After a 33-save performance Tuesday in Winnipeg, he made 37 stops to improve to 9-8-4. His best stop was a pad save off Matthew Tkachuk as Calgary failed to convert a late second-period two-on-one that would have tied it.
Cam Talbot, in his first appearance since he was thrown out of Saturday’s game against Edmonton after his fight with Mike Smith, made 32 saves. His record falls to 7-8-1.
Calgary got off to a fast start with Bennett snapping a 12-game goalless drought just 33 seconds into the game. Skating hard to the top of the crease, he arrived just in time to redirect a centering pass from Travis Hamonic.
The lead was short-lived with Fabbro tying it at 1:49, strolling into the slot uncontested and ripping a shot over the glove of Talbot.
The Predators took the lead 10 minutes later when Turris banged in a loose puck during a scramble in front.
Notes: The first of Josi’s two assists was his 400th career point… Lindholm had an assist to extend his point-streak to five games (3-2-5)… Brandon Davidson, called up earlier in the day from Stockton (AHL), stepped right into the Flames line-up with Oliver Kylington (illness) also not available.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2020.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press