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Kostitsyn's hat trick boosts Predators over Flames

Jan 2, 2012 - 4:10 AM
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Sergei Kostitsyn recorded his first career hat trick to lead the Nashville Predators past the Calgary Flames, 5-3, at Bridgestone Arena.

"It was big for him to get his first hat trick," Predators forward Patric Hornqvist said about Kostitsyn. "He had a big game for us and that was huge for us tonight."

Kevin Klein and Matt Halischuk also lit the lamp for the Predators, while Pekka Rinne made 17 saves in Nashville's third consecutive win.

Jarome Iginla, Rene Bourque and Brendan Morrison scored for Calgary as the Flames dropped their third straight.

Miikka Kiprusoff allowed four goals on 26 shots in defeat.

"In the end it was breakdowns and defensive lapses," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. "Defensively we are not where we need to be and it's costing us."

The Flames struck first on Iginla's 499th career goal just 3:47 into the first period when he set up in front of the net and one-timed an Olli Jokinen pass from the right corner.

From there on, though, it was all Nashville as the Predators tallied the next four goals to take control of the game.

Klein knotted the score with 7:21 left in the opening frame with a slap shot from the right point and Kostitsyn sent Nashville into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead by tapping in Mike Fisher's cross-ice pass from the right of the net 2 1/2 minutes later.

Halischuk and Kostitsyn netted goals early in the second to give the Predators a three-goal lead after two as Rinne stopped all four shots he faced in the period.

But Bourque struck just 1:17 into the third with a one-timer from the left of the net and Morrison closed the gap to one with 2:03 left in regulation.

However, that is as close as Calgary would get as Kostitsyn raced down the ice and tipped the puck into the empty net with 30 seconds left to seal the win for the Preds.

Game Notes

When Iginla scores his 500th goal he will become the 42nd player to do so and the 15th to do it all with the same team...Jokinen was playing in his 1,000th game...Both teams went scoreless on the power play. Calgary had two opportunities, while Nashville had three.