Tkachuk rallies Flames past Predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After letting a game slip away late just three days earlier, the Calgary Flames flipped the script by rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Matthew Tkachuk’s wrist-shot goal in the third round of a shootout gave Calgary a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. That eased the sting of Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Minnesota when the Wild scored three goals in the last 10 minutes.
“After a couple of tough games at home, this is exactly what you need right now,” Tkachuk said. “This is good vibes, this is everybody feeling confident. A great team win, great goaltending and a comeback.”
The Flames (5-4-0) got third-period goals from Tkachuk and Micheal Ferland to erase a 2-0 deficit and end a two-game skid while improving to 4-1-0 on the road.
“Whenever you get a comeback win, you feel pretty good about yourself and a win in general you feel good about yourselves,” Tkachuk said. “But tonight for some reason it was special just to be down 2-0 about last year’s Western Conference champs. They’re so good and we wore them down in the second half of the game.”
Sean Monahan scored on the Flames’ first shootout attempt, but Filip Forsberg answered for Nashville in the second round before Tkachuk won it.
Calgary goalie Mike Smith stopped 28 shots.
The Flames finally scored when Tkachuk’s wrist shot from the right faceoff circle found the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 2-1 with 9:25 left in the third period.
Ferland tied the game with a backhander that he lifted over Pekka Rinne’s glove in the top left corner of the net with 7:05 remaining.
“I just took off to the net and a great pass by Johnny (Gaudreau),” Ferland said. “I went to the backhand before and I thought I’d go to the backhand, and it felt really good to get that in.”
Forsberg and Roman Josi scored power-play goals during a 74-second span in the first period, giving Nashville a 2-0 lead.
Rinne made 30 saves for the Predators (4-3-2).
Nashville took a 1-0 lead when Forsberg poked home a rebound from the right side of the crease for a power-play goal at 6:29 of the first period, while Calgary’s Mark Jankowski was in the penalty box for tripping.
A 30-goal scorer the past two seasons, Forsberg leads the Predators with seven goals and 12 points.
The Predators struck again on the power play when Josi blasted a one-timer from the right faceoff circle that beat Smith stick side to make it 2-0 at 7:43 of the first period.
“It’s a growth game, for sure,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “I thought the atmosphere in the building was more intense than most of the regular-season games we’ve played so far. It had some real good energy and to come back against a really good hockey club — it’s a good growth game for everyone.”
Nashville went 2-for-3 on the power play while Calgary was 0-for-4.
Calgary put constant pressure on Rinne in the second period, but he kept coming up with big saves.
One of his best came when he stopped Gaudreau on a breakaway with a left pad save with three minutes left in the period.
Nashville killed three penalties in the last 14 minutes of the period.
“I thought we needed to play better five on five,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “That was my message the whole game.”
NOTES: Calgary F Jaromir Jagr, 45, could return to the lineup in about a week after being placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. ... The Flames play their first pair of back-to-back road games with a visit to St. Louis on Wednesday. ... Nashville scratched D Anthony Bitetto, RW Miikka Salomaki and rookie D Samuel Girard. ... The Predators played without their No. 2 center, Nick Bonino, and top-four D Ryan Ellis, who are both on injured reserve. ... Nashville plays the Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday.