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Russell’s OT goal lifts Flames past Predators

The Flames hung around, hung around, forced overtime and — of course — prevailed in the extra period, posting a 2-1 win in National Hockey League action Tuesday at the Bridgestone Arena.

Thanks to Kris Russell’s goal — on a feed from Johnny Gaudreau, natch — the Flames bag their sixth-straight win, the first since 2010-11, Jan. 21 to Feb. 3.

When their games are deadlocked after 60 minutes, the Flames are now 9-2.

“We understand that the road to the playoffs includes success on the road,” Hartley said after the morning skate. “We took care of our record at home. Now we have to address our game on the road. I like the body language, I like the enthusiasm, that we have as a group.

“Obviously, we need to carry it onto the ice now.”

T.J. Brodie’s second-period goal extended his career-best point streak to seven games (two goals, six assists).

Cody Hodgson counted for the Preds in the ugly first period for the guests.

The Flames could not have imagined a worst start.

No one could.

To say they didn’t touch the puck through the early stages of the first period is nearly literally true.

Hemmed in their own zone following the anthems, the Flames were helpless to slow the hosts.

Well, Brodie found a way — the defender chopped down Hodgson when the Preds centre burst, unmolested, through the middle of the ice.

A penalty shot, at 5:09, was awarded, and Hodgson, firing to the glove side, made no mistake. It was the first penalty shot of his NHL career.

The onesideness continued.

The Flames, at 8:07, registered their first shot — Sam Bennett’s 80-foot drifter that appeared to be curling wide.

Bennett, too, seemed to be the one traveller losing his patience with the onslaught, giving Filip Forsberg a good shove at one point.

Nashville’s shots continued, 12-1 at one point.

“Just bring the type of hockey that we know makes us a great team,” Eric Nystrom said in the morning. “When we do that, nobody can skate with us. But when we’re not sticking to that and on a different tangent, we’re just an average team.”

Then an optimist would say the Flames started to rally.

Late in the first period, Johnny Gaudreau, looking like himself, took control of the puck, eventually forcing Viktor Arvidsson to tug him down.

That holding minor arrived at 18:44.

Which necessitated deployment of the very worst power play unit in the league — 0-for-11, 1-for-24, 2-for-41 coming into the night.

That man-advantage chance produced nothing.

“Obviously, we can beat up our special teams as much as we want, but that’s an area where it could be a huge factor in any road hockey game,” said Hartley. “We know where we’re sitting. No one’s happy about it. We’re going to find a way.”

But, nearly immediately, the Flames were handed a golden opportunity.

At 2:08, Mike Ribeiro was called for hooking and James Neal was called for a head check (he’d beaned Mark Giordano), which gave the travellers a five-on-three power play for a full two minutes.

They got only one good chance — when Gaudreau forced a pass to a net-side Bennett, who whacked it.

The scoring sequence was close enough that it was reviewed. After a lengthy look-see — the puck appeared to cross the goal-line before bouncing off Rinne’s right pad — video evidence was deemed inconclusive. No goal.

After successfully killing a penalty — noteworthy these days — the Flames tied the game.

Brodie got the puck to Bennett along the right boards and the Calgary rookie quickly shipped it back to Brodie, who wired a wrist shot over Rinne’s glove hand at 12:28.

After the horror of the opening period, the second was a little more legitimate for the Flames, who did the outshooting 6-4.

C-NOTE … LW Michael Frolik left the game after the second period with an upper-body injury.

Kris Russell


G: 1 Shots: 2
A: 1 Hits: 1
PTS: 2 PIM: 0
+/-: 2 TOI: 23:06
Cody Hodgson


G: 1 Shots: 2
A: 0 Hits: 0
PTS: 1 PIM: 0
+/-: 1 TOI: 9:02
TJ Brodie


G: 1 Shots: 1
A: 0 Hits: 0
PTS: 1 PIM: 2
+/-: 1 TOI: 23:40

NASHVILLE — Defenseman Kris Russell scored 1:23 into overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday.

Forward Johnny Gaudreau led a 2-on-1 rush and fed a pass to Russell, who was able to get to the puck and beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his second goal.

The Flames (14-14-2) have won six in a row and are 7-1 in games decided during 3-on-3 overtime.

The Predators (15-10-6) are 1-2-1 in their past four games and 9-4-2 at home.

Cody Hodgson gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 5:09 of the first period when he scored on a penalty shot. Hodgson was hooked by Flames defenseman T.J Brodie on a breakaway and was awarded the penalty shot. He made a quick move to freeze goaltender Karri Ramo and then beat him with a wrist shot on the glove side for his third goal.

Brodie tied the game 1-1 at 12:28 of the second period. Nashville lost Brodie in coverage, and he took a pass forward Sam Bennett from and fired a wrist shot past Rinne for his fourth goal.

Calgary had two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play in the second period but was unable to convert.

Ramo made 21 saves; Rinne finished with 19.

Flames forward Michael Frolik left the game early in the third period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return

The Flames visit the Dallas Stars on Thursday in the second of a four-game road trip. The Predators play at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Coleton MacDonald
The Founder of
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