October 20, 2018 / 4:10 AM / 24 days ago

Rinne hurt as Preds hold off Flames

Zac Rinaldo scored the winning goal early in the third period, and goalie Juuse Saros was perfect in a 15-minute relief appearance as the visiting Nashville Predators beat the Calgary Flames 5-3 Friday night.

Shortly after the Flames erased a deficit for the third time, Rinaldo elected to shoot on a two-on-one rush and wired a wrister just inside the far post for his first goal of the season at 6:31 of the third period to give the Predators a 4-3 lead.

From there, Saros provided a masterful nine-save outing to record the win. Nashville starting goalie Pekka Rinne left the game due to injury just past the five-minute mark of the third period, minutes after he and a teammate collided.

Nashville’s Ryan Johansen opened the scoring on the game’s first shot just 51 seconds into the seesaw affair, taking advantage of porous defensive coverage that left him alone in front of the net.

Elias Lindholm pulled the Flames even with 77 seconds remaining in the first period — and on the team’s second shot on goal. Lindholm was at the doorstep and benefited from a slick pass from Johnny Gaudreau that provided a gaping net to hit for his team-high fifth goal of the season.

Craig Smith put the Predators ahead again at 4:09 of the second period. Left alone in front of the net, Smith took his time to make the deke before lifting a backhand into the cage.

Matthew Tkachuk tied the score at 12:51 with Calgary’s first power-play goal in four games. While Tkachuk was parked in front of the cage, Lindholm’s shot banked off his foot and into the net.

Kevin Fiala gave the Predators a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal of his own at 14:23 of the second period, but Calgary’s Sam Bennett tied the score for a third time at 2:20 of the third period.

Nashville’s Filip Forsberg iced the game with an empty-net goal, capping a two-point night.

Flames goalie Mike Smith made 26 saves in an uneven performance.

—Field Level Media

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