No goals from Cammalleri, but Flames still win
Who needs Mike Cammalleri to score? Not the Calgary Flames, apparently.
Calgary's top goal-scorer was kept off the score-sheet, but the Flames still managed to post a 3-1 win over the visiting Nashville Predators Friday night.
The win was Calgary's third in a row and 10th in 11 games on home ice, and allowed the Flames to maintain their 11-point lead atop the Northwest Division and move to within five points of the second-place Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference.
For the first time in five contests, Cammalleri, who leads the team in scoring with 25 goals, did not find the back of the net, but he did collect an assist to extend his point streak to eight consecutive games. The veteran forward has 14 points (11 goals, three assists) during the streak.
Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside 28 shots to earn his league-leading 30 win of the season. Kiprusoff has won seven of his last nine starts against the Predators.
The sellout crowd broke out into a chant of "Kipper, Kipper" after the Flames goalie came up with a series of big saves during the third period while Calgary was clinging to a one-goal lead.
"Guys around here that have been playing with (Kiprusoff) a few years have come to know him that way and know he can make the big save," said Flames forward Matthew Lombardi.
Fellow Finnish netminder Pekka Rinne made 29 saves in a losing effort for Nashville.
After a goal-less first period, the Flames struck twice in the middle frame.
Lombardi opened the scoring at 7:23 with his fifth goal of the season, finishing off a pretty passing-play sequence with Curtis Glencross and David Moss.
André Roy made it 2-0 for Calgary five minutes later. After the Predators turned over the puck in the neutral zone, Eric Nystrom streaked down the right wing and undressed Nashville defenceman Shea Weber with a great deke before sliding the puck to Roy who snapped it by Rinne.
"I didn't even think shot one bit, I just knew we were on a two-on-one and once their 'D' went down, I just slid it over," said Nystrom. "Sometimes I kick myself for not shooting enough but Roy had an open net and he did a good job finishing it."
Nashville cut into Calgary's lead at 7:57 of the third when J.P. Dumont collected a rebound off a shot that Kiprusoff couldn't control and jammed it home.
Nashville poured on the pressure while on a power play, but Kiprusoff made five saves, including a fantastic paddle stop with his stick on Ryan Jones after scrambling across his goal crease.
"I just tried to turn around and find the puck and get it in the air because most goalies are going to be along the ground but he did a good job of taking away the bottom of the net, threw the paddle up in the air and got a stick on it," said Jones.
The Predators fell into penalty trouble soon after, and suffered the consequences while killing a two-man advantage at 12:30 when defenceman Adrian Aucoin's knuckleball of a slapshot beat Rinne.
Aucoin's fifth goal of the season extended his points-streak to six games (one goal, six assists).
The Flames visit the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
With files from Canadian Press