With Deryk Engelland out because of a lower body injury, Tyler Wotherspoon took his spot on the blue line and was paired with Mark Giordano. Joni Ortio started in net, much to the relief of many Flames fans. It was a slow-pace to start the game at the Saddledome. But I noticed that Lance Bouma was playing better since being bumped up to a different line. Micheal Ferland got in the way of a shot by Gio and he looked like he was in a lot of pain, but he continued to play. Seeing Garnet Hathaway and Michael Frolik on a line together gives me hope for a lot of play-creation, which they did, but they just couldn't capitalize. It was a strange moment, but it was in favour of the Flames when the buzzer went off mid-play. Turns out, a shot that Johnny Gaudreau took a while earlier was reviewed by the command center in Toronto and the game was stopped to announce a good goal. With some momentum in his veins, Johnny scored again 10 seconds later to put the Flames up 2-0 heading into the second.
The second period started off slow again and then it was a parade to the penalty box. No one scored any goals and not many plays could be generated throughout the middle frame. After a hit into the boards, Sam Bennett left the bench and headed down the tunnel. T.J. Brodie went down the tunnel not long afterwards. Brodie returned before the end of the period, Bennett did not. The Preds ended the second with another penalty, giving the Flames over a minute of power play time to start the final 20 minutes.
It was announced on the Flames twitter that Brodie and Bennett would not return for the rest of the game, both due to upper body injuries. And, even though the Flames started the final 20 minutes with a power play, no goals were scored. The Flames were feeling Brodie's absence quickly as the Preds got on the board, the score 2-1. With just over a minute left in the game, the Preds would strike again to tie the game and force overtime.
Johnny Gaudreau proved why he's worth every penny the Flames should throw at him as he skated the puck into the Preds zone, waiting patiently for Mikael Backlund to get into position. Once Backlund found his space, a pass from Johnny was enough to give Backlund the boost he needed to bury the goal and get the win for the Flames, 3-2.
Flame Of The Game
Sean Monahan. With tonight's 2 assists, Mony now has 13 points in 9 games. He was Johnny's perfect partner tonight, always making himself available to help out with the play. He sacrificed himself to gain momentum for his team and he played a big game against the Predators with a forceful presence.