It wasn't the most exciting game to watch at times, but a gritty effort by the Nashville Predators led them to only the second sweep of Western Canada in franchise history, as they beat the Flames 1-0 in Calgary. Patric Hornqvist scored his team-leading 19th goal for Nashville, while Dan Ellis earned his first shutout of the season, stopping 22 Calgary shots.
The victory places Nashville in sole possession of 4th place in the Western Conference, 2 points ahead of Phoenix and 3 in front of Calgary, with all three having played 48 games.
Follow after the jump for video highlights, reaction, and the advanced even-strength stats...
Nashville came out and set a good pace in the early going, outshooting Calgary 10-6 in the first, and getting much more consistent pressure than the last time these two teams met, in Nashville. However, Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside several good chances, and the Preds did have to keep things settled down in their own end.
The special teams were put to the test three times each, and while the power play fizzled (just two shots), the penalty killers did a stellar job, allowing only one Calgary shot in 4:57 of shorthanded duty.
Simply put, it was difficult to create dangerous scoring chances tonight, and even the winning goal took a combination of quick puck movement, speed off the boards, and a fortunate shot. Steve Sullivan took a feed down below the goal line and hit Patric Hornqvist as he streaked towards the net. A quick shot slipped through Kipper with just 6:22 left in the 3rd period, and that was all the scoring. Now, only Ryan Malone and Dany Heatley have more game-winning goals (7) than Hornqvist's 6.
Many folks looked at a game like this as a write-off after having won in Vancouver and Edmonton earlier on this trip, but with the Preds off for a couple days, this ensures they'll remain among the upper playoff teams in the West after a busy weekend coming up.
The Preds return home Monday, January 18 vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. For discounted tickets to this or any other Nashville Predators home game, you can follow this link and use the special offer code "PREDS".
Looking at the advanced stats, the dynamic duo of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter led the way, logging heavy minutes and coming out slightly ahead in a tight game. Kudos also to the hodge-podge line of Ryan Jones, Cal O'Reilly and J.P. Dumont, which also brought some pressure. Cody Franson and Francis Bouillon came out with some rough numbers, but that's not too surprising for a 3rd pair like that on the road. Against a team like Calgary, it coulda been a whole lot worse...
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
|J P Dumont||R||12:27||1||0||1||0||6||5||1||12||9||3|