After falling behind 2-1 in a period where the Flames allowed two goals on just nine Predators shots, Flames captain Jarome Iginla made history early in the middle frame. After being awarded a penalty shot as a result of being hauled down on a breakaway by Sergei Kostitsyn, Iginla swooped in from centre ice and put a wrist shot past Preds 'tender Pekka Rinne for his 30th goal of the season--his tenth consecutive campaign with as many markers--to tie the game for the Flames en route to a 3-2 victory over the visitors.
It may not have been the most important goal of the game--Curtis Glencross' third period game winner takes the cake on that front--but it certainly was memorable, and represents yet another milestone for the 33-year old Iginla, who is now just 14 points away from 1,000 for his NHL career.
I think I speak for all of us here when I say congratulations, Iggy. The captain finds himself in some very elite company as only the 10th player to reach this milestone, and despite some recent rough patches, he deserves every last ounce of praise for it.
A short game summary and stray thoughts after the jump.
In keeping with what seems to be a recent trend, the Predators got themselves on the board early in this one when Martin Erat scored just 2:47 in to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Under five minutes later, Mark Giordano would tie the game for the Flames when he got credit for a goal that took a couple odd bounces before beating Rinne on a Flames powerplay, but Ryan Suter would restore the Preds' one-goal lead at 15:38 with his third of the season despite the two teams playing to a draw in terms of shots and scoring chances.
The Flames would even things up with Iginla's aforementioned penalty shot marker under a minute into the middle frame, and would proceed to take over the game from there, out-shooting Nashville 13-4 in what was an otherwise scoreless second period.
In the final frame the Flames would again prove to be the better of the two squads, as Curtis Glencross would score the game winner during a scramble in front of Rinne in a period where the Flames enjoyed a 9-5 advantage in scoring chances and a 14-10 advantage in shots on goal. Much like Friday's game, the home side would be forced to withstand some late pressure from their opponents before the 'W' was in the books, and they did just that, cruising to a season series sweep of the Predators and putting some distance between them and the teams below the eighth-place cutoff line.
If the Flames continue to take advantage of some of the weaker teams in the mix, than their next game against the Stars should produce similar results--that is, if they can replicate the style of play that made them successful tonight. The good guys took their foot off the gas in a big way on Friday and it nearly cost them, so they will need to be sure to get back into the habit of pushing the puck north instead of sitting back and relying on Miikka Kiprusoff to bail them out when they get into trouble, and tonight's game was a step in the right direction where possession and chance differential are concerned, both on an individual level and as a team.