Filip Forsberg recorded his third career hat trick, but it wasn’t enough as the Calgary Flames defeated the Nashville Predators in overtime by a 6-5 final on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result gives the Preds one more point in the standings – 65 in total – but one short of what was available.
The Predators were down 4-1 in the second period and stormed back to take a 5-4 lead before the second period was out, but the Flames tied it in the third and then won it less than a minute into the extra session.
“I’m pretty honest – if I thought the effort wasn’t right, or if things weren’t the way they were supposed to be, I’d admit it,” Preds Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “I’d tell them, and I’d tell you the same thing. But I don’t think that was the case tonight. I think that Calgary is a good hockey team. They’re fighting for the playoffs, but I thought our guys showed up and were ready to go to work in the first period. It just didn’t bounce our way.”
Calgary got out in front less than a minute in when Micheal Ferland fired a shot past Pekka Rinne for a 1-0 lead. P.K Subban evened the score with a slapper from the right point, which was initially waved off due to incidental contact with the goaltender, but eventually overturned to give the defenseman his ninth of the season.
The Flames registered two more before the opening frame was out, however, courtesy of Mikael Backlund and then a second from Ferland. Dougie Hamilton made it 4-1 early in the second, spelling the end of Rinne’s night in favor of Juuse Saros in net – and then the comeback was on.
Led by a second-period hat trick from Forsberg and a power-play goal from Colin Wilson, Nashville roared back to score four straight before the stanza concluded, giving them a 5-4 advantage after 40 minutes. The effort was good enough to put Forsberg in first place among all Preds with 19 goals on the season. His last two hat tricks have both come in the second period alone.
“I thought we played pretty good in the first, even though the score was a little downhill,” Forsberg said. “The start of the second wasn’t great, but we knew we had it. We know we have what it takes to come back in games, and we showed ourselves that again but it only gave us one point.”
“That was huge, that was an unbelievable period,” Captain Mike Fisher said. “We didn’t feel bad about our first period, we just had bad breaks. I think all along we knew we could come back; Fil and his line did a great job coming back. Sometimes, in the third, you know they’re going to push back. I think we should’ve been a little bit better in the third and get them on their heels a little bit more, but we let them back in.”
Midway through the final frame, Backlund’s second tied the game and then Mark Giordano got credit for the overtime winner when his centering feed deflected into the net, ending Nashville’s hopes of another home comeback.
“Well, we’ve done it in the past; it was just a huge game we kind of let slip,” Fisher said. “You have a surge like that and you let it slip away is really disappointing, and you know you kind of had them. It just wasn’t our night tonight, and we came back and got a point, and we’re going to have to swallow not getting two.”
P.K. Subban extended his point streak to four games, matching his season high. He has nine points (1g-8a) in his last six games.
Nashville has earned at least one point in 10 of their last 11 home games against the Flames (5-1-5).
The Predators continue their four-game home stand on Thursday when the Colorado Avalanche come to town. Nashville then hosts a back-to-back set this weekend with Washington on Saturday and Edmonton on Sunday
Pete Weber’s Postgame Report