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Recap: To Catch A Predator(s)

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Smith & Co. Shutout Preds 3-0 In Nashville

NHL: Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames 3 Nashville Predators 0

The Flames put forth their first full 60 minute team effort of the season on Tuesday night, as Mike Smith wound up leading the charge with a 43 save shutout performance in Music City. The special teams continued to impress on both sides, going 2/4 on the man advantage and successfully killing all penalties including some 5-on-3 time in the second frame. This earned the visitors the victory moving them to 2-1-0 so far on the young campaign.

Scoring:

Calgary Flames

1st Period: Lindholm (3) (Gaudreau) PP, 16:11

2nd Period: Monahan (3) (Tkachuk, Gaudreau) PP, 5:22

3rd Period: Monahan (4) (Gaudreau, Brodie) 0:33

Nashville Predators -None

Final Thoughts:

The top line continued to impress, and Elias Lindholm has certainly cemented himself for the time being as the third man in. The chemistry and intuition he’s displayed with Gaudreau and Monahan (see below) make it Lindholm’s spot to lose moving forward. Mike Smith posted a top notch performance, and the miraculous turnaround of the special teams play from last season still requires double-takes to believe. One sliver of a note is that Smith saw 43 shots, a number that was definitely hoping to be reduced this season and we’ll see if the team can address that moving forward. An excellent road effort in the Preds home opener, and what might go down as the team’s best performance in the first quarter or even half of the year.

Flame Of The Game:

Smith posted his 37th career shutout, including stopping 21 shots in the second period and fighting off two straight minutes on a Nashville 5-on-3 powerplay. This was a stellar outing from Smith, who in the hopes of remaining healthy down the late stretch was confirmed to be getting a night off in St. Louis as the club will hand the reigns to David Rittich in game 4.

What’s Next?

The Flames continue their road swing on Thursday as they visit the St. Louis Blues, puckdrop is 6:00 PM Mountain Time!