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Predators hold off Flames 6-5
Question of the Day
Tied 4-4 and with the Predators on the power play, Weber took a perfect pass from Matt Cullen and fired a slap shot past Joey MacDonald from the faceoff dot to put Nashville back into the lead at 14:28.
On a night that featured ugly plays defensively from both sides, even the go-ahead goal was no thing of beauty either, Weber said.
“I missed it,” the Predators‘ star defenseman said. “I was trying to go up with it to be honest with you and it kind of went off the heel of my stick and I got lucky.”
Weber’s 18th goal tied him with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson for second in the NHL among defensemen, one back of Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.
“We didn’t expect that coming in. We thought it was going to be a tight-checking, low-scoring game,” Weber said. “Obviously it’s huge to get that many goals. Hopefully, that can loosen guys up a bit.”
Cullen added his seventh goal of the season at 17:08 on a deflection. That would turn out to be the winning goal after Mike Cammalleri’s second of the game from a scramble 28 seconds later set up a furious final 2½ minutes for the Flames, who buzzed around the Predators net, but couldn’t tie it against backup goaltender Carter Hutton.
“It’s weird how games sometimes trend like that. When it opens up, it opens up,” said Hutton, who came in for starter Pekka Rinne after Mikael Backlund tied it 4-4 on the Flames‘ 18th shot at 13:31 of the second.
“The fifth one wasn’t the best goal I’ve ever given up but it squeaks in,” Hutton said. “The crowd starts getting into it, but we’ve still got the one-goal lead. You’ve got to stay focused and my mindset doesn’t change.”
Victor Bartley, Patric Hornqvist and Viktor Stalberg also scored for Nashville, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Twenty-two-year-old center Calle Jarnkrok had an assist in his NHL debut.
Kris Russell and Jiri Hudler rounded out the scoring for Calgary, which lost for only the third time in its past dozen games at the Saddledome.
“Pretty simple - no defense,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “I’m not pointing at our goalie or our defensemen, by any means. I’m talking about our team game.”
Down 2-0 early, the Flames fought back to tie it 3-3 before falling behind 4-3. They came from behind one more time to even it 4-4 headed to the third.
“We worked very hard to come back a few times in the game, but the way that we were committed defensively tonight, I don’t think we had a chance,” Hartley said.
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