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Nashville Predators 2, Calgary Flames 5: Flames Dominate, Sweep Season Series

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A day after clinching the playoffs, the Predators got ripped to shreds by the Flames.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

What a beat-down. And I was having such a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Thanks Perds.

Let's not relive this yuck-fest too much. Here is what you need to know: outside of the first 8 minutes and the final 8 minutes, the Flames dominated this game. They were faster, smarter, and tougher on the puck. Not only did they maintain tight defense and transition turnovers into fast-paced attacks, their fore-checking was just ridiculous. The battles on the boards were not battles, they were massacres. The Predators couldn't get out of their own way and the Flames continually capitalized on their mistakes.  Carter Hutton was not up to the task, as he let in at least 2 goals that simply have to be stopped.

It's pretty obvious that this Flames team would be a dangerous one to face in the playoffs. Watching them today, it wouldn't shock me at all if they knocked off a team or two in the playoffs, should they make it. Let's hope they don't make it.

As for the Preds... well, they clinched the playoffs, right?

Random Observations

  • Just over 6 minutes in, Roman Josi gives Nashville the lead with a sneaky shot from the blue-line. He's now tied for the lead in goals by Preds defensemen with Shea Weber. And he's only two away from the record for points in a season, set by Weber last year at 56.  "Norris, party of two... Norris, party of two, your table is now ready."
  • The tying goal by the Flames was stoppable. Hutton's five-hole was wide open and Lance Bouma backhanded it through. There was considerable traffic in front of the Nashville net, but Hutton needs to save that.
  • Not so much on the 2nd Flames goal. Nothing he could do about an unlucky deflection off of Gaustad's skate as the shot came down from Kris Russell.
  • The Preds appear to be playing about as well as they always have against the Flames. Since like 2002.
  • The Stalberg-Fisher-Wilson line has some spacing issues at times. Not sure where the problem is there, but it's odd. Either all three of them crash the boards, or none of them do. Their offensive cycling never looks quite right.
  • Flames take a 3-1 lead on a beautiful pass from the boards by Drew Shore to Michael Ferland, his first NHL goal. The pace and momentum are with Calgary right now. They are everywhere.
  • So. Much. Pressure. The Predators can't get anything going because the puck hasn't left the defensive zone for about 83 minutes.
  • Jiri Hudler makes it 4-1 Flames when his shot sneaks through and just crosses the goal line. The Carter Hutton Hate Show is going to have it's highest ratings in months.
  • That end of the 2nd period power-play may have been the last gasp. The Predators did put together some better shifts in the 3rd period, but by the end of the game looked worn out and out of ideas. The Seth Jones goal brought some urgency and momentum for the Predators, but the deficit was just too much to overcome. Season sweep by the Flames.
  • I was gonna post the possession stats, but this is the only picture that came up on all the advanced stats sites:

OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game

  • Roman Josi: he had a nice goal early on. He did a decent job bottling up some of what the Flames did. Like everyone else, he clearly missed #6 out there.
  • Mike Santorelli: an assist on the Josi goal and provided decent pressure, I guess. As per usual, he almost scored like 4 times.
  • Seth Jones: well, he certainly had forgettable moments in this game, but the goal was nice. He also logged 26+ minutes. SHEA WHERE ARE YOU?

Tweets Of The Game

Boxscore - Game Summary - Event Summary - War-on-Ice - HockeyStats - Natural Stat Trick

Roll the video highlights...