Predators comeback falls short as they lose to Calgary 3-1

A 3rd period power play goal wasn't enough to help the Nashville Predators as they fell to the Calgary Flames 3-1. Despite firing 28 shots on net, the Preds just couldn't overcome a strong effort by Miikka Kiprusoff in the Calgary net. Dan Ellis turned away 31 of 33 Flames shots to give the Predators a chance at tying the game late.

Click the photo above for the gallery, then follow after the jump for the video highlights and advanced even-strength stats...

Just as it always seems between these teams, it was a gritty, hard-fought affair. After a scoreless first period, the Flames got on the board first as David Moss was able to dig for a loose puck in the Nashville crease as several players jostled for position and Dan Ellis tried to sprawl and cover up. Calgary then added to the lead late in the 2nd, on another rebound chance, this one further out as Olli Jokinen camped out in the slot.

Midway through the 3rd Ryan Jones drew a penalty on Adam Pardy, giving the Preds a power play chance to get back into it. While Nashville had Miikka Kiprusoff down a couple times, they couldn't quite corral the puck well enough to fire it on net. Right after the PP ended the Preds kept putting pressure on in the offensive zone, however, which resulted in another penalty, this time to Robyn Regehr.

Patric Hornqvist made that one count, coming out from the corner and beating Kiprusoff with a wrister, bringing Nashville back to within 2-1 with just over six minutes left. The goal, Hornqvist's 14th of the season, tied him with Martin Erat for the team lead. While the Preds were able to get a few shots in the final minutes, a late empty-netter by Daymond Langkow sealed it for Calgary.

All in all, it wasn't a bad effort by the Preds tonight. There's no shame in losing to the Flames, and it was good to see the power play connect to at least get Nashville back in the game when they needed it. The Calgary defense was also terrific, particularly Bouwmeester and Regehr. It seemed like the Preds rarely had much space with which to make plays once they were in the Calgary zone.

The Predators continue this week with home games against Carolina (Thursday) and Anaheim (Saturday) before they head out for another tour through Western Canada starting Monday. Just as occurred about a month ago, the Preds will have the chance to make up for this home loss when they get a rematch in Calgary next Friday, January 15.

For discounted tickets for Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, or any Nashville Predators home game, you can follow this link and use the special offer code "PREDS".

Looking at the advanced even-strength stats, it was a relatively poor night across the board; the only standouts were the guys who barely broke even against Calgary, like Hornqvist and Goc. J.P. Dumont had an off night tonight, seeming very tentative with the puck on some occasions, while dishing it away too quickly when pressured at other times.

 Even Strength Individual Totals Team Totals While Player Is On Ice
 Player Pos EV TOI Shots On Goal Shts Blkd Missed Shts Blocks SOG For SOG Ag SOG +/- Tot SF Tot SA Corsi
 J P Dumont R 16:37 1 0 0 1 5 6 -1 8 14 -6
 Jason Arnott C 16:28 1 0 0 0 3 5 -2 7 12 -5
 Joel Ward R 15:19 2 1 1 1 5 9 -4 10 18 -8
 David Legwand C 15:08 0 0 0 0 5 7 -2 9 16 -7
 Steve Sullivan L 13:51 1 0 0 0 2 5 -3 6 13 -7
 Andreas Thuresson R 13:43 1 0 0 0 6 9 -3 10 17 -7
 Marcel Goc C 13:42 3 0 0 1 8 7 1 17 17 0
 Ryan Jones L 13:10 1 0 1 3 6 9 -3 14 19 -5
 Patric Hornqvist R 12:45 1 2 1 0 5 4 1 14 13 1
 Nick Spaling C 9:03 2 0 0 0 4 4 0 7 7 0
 Michael Santorelli C 7:55 0 0 0 0 2 8 -6 4 11 -7
 Wade Belak R 5:32 0 0 0 0 3 8 -5 5 11 -6
 Ryan Suter D 18:49 1 2 0 3 7 10 -3 14 22 -8
 Shea Weber D 18:40 1 1 2 0 7 7 0 14 19 -5
 Dan Hamhuis D 16:52 1 0 1 0 8 9 -1 14 21 -7
 Kevin Klein D 16:34 2 2 0 4 9 9 0 15 20 -5
 Francis Bouillon D 15:43 0 1 2 1 2 8 -6 8 13 -5
 Cody Franson D 15:40 0 2 0 2 3 11 -8 9 17 -8
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