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Conroy, Flames start strong, hold on vs. Predators

Nov 7, 2008 - 7:36 AM CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- A late lapse nearly led to another closed-door meeting for the Calgary Flames.

Craig Conroy scored a pair of goals and added an assist - all in the first period - as the Flames built a big lead before holding on for a 7-6 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Captain Jarome Iginla recorded two power-play goals and two assists and Todd Bertuzzi set up three tallies for Calgary, which used a season-best scoring effort to end a two-game losing streak.

In yet another wild shootout in the Western Conference, Nashville nearly erased a 5-0 deficit, scoring three times in the third period, including twice in the final three minutes.

"Yes, you're glad when they're over, trust me," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said of the high-scoring affair. "When you're coaching a game like that? You see them from time to time. There was one last week with Vancouver and Anaheim. You come out on the right side of it and you're glad it's over with."

"It's not the way we wanted to finish, obviously, but a huge two points," Conroy said.

Following Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in which they failed to score after the first period, the Flames held a closed-door meeting instead of going through the normal pregame skate Thursday to discuss the direction of the team.

The meeting appeared to have done the trick, as Calgary charged out of the gate against Nashville behind Conroy. Iginla added a power-play goal 2:13 into the second period for the 5-0 advantage.

However, the Predators were able to scratch back into the contest, closing within 7-6 when defenseman Shea Weber netted a shorthanded tally with 20 seconds remaining in the third.

"It would be easy to feel sorry for yourself in a situation like that," Nashville's Scott Nichol said. "Hey, we were up on them 3-0 in Nashville (on October 23) and they came back and beat us, 5-3. We knew if we kept plugging along, we could build on that."

It was the second goal while down a skater in the closing three minutes for Nashville, taking away some of the luster of Calgary's impressive start.

Yet, the Predators ran out of time as the Flames won for the fourth time in their last five home games.

After the game, the opening of the Flames' locker room for the media was delayed for 10-15 minutes, as Keenan undoubtedly gave the players a piece of his mind. The players also opted not to discuss the team meeting earlier in the day.

Conroy opened the scoring 7:26 into the contest with a shorthanded goal, taking a pass near center ice from Eric Nystrom and breaking in on Pekka Rinne before unleashing a wrist shot from between the slot that beat the goaltender.

Rene Bourque made it 2-0 just over 4 1/2 minutes later and Conroy added his third of the season with 3:16 remaining, taking a pass from Iginla and firing another shot from the slot just inside the left goalpost.

"(Conroy) was flying," Iginla said. "He got us going with the shorthanded goal and then got a second one. It's a good thing because the game ended up being so close."

Defenseman Cory Sarich capped the four-goal first period with a wrist shot with 65 seconds remaining.

Rinne yielded four goals on just 10 shots before being replaced at the start of the middle session by Dan Ellis, who made 16 saves.

Despite the 5-0 deficit early in the second period, Nashville was able to begin its comeback on special teams, receiving power-play goals from Martin Erat and Jason Arnott in a 78-second span.

"We kind of helped them with those 5-on-3s, and all of a sudden, it's 5-2," Conroy said. "Those things happen and you move on. You feel bad for Kipper (goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff) because he played so well, and he deserves better."

A pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on defenseman Dion Phaneuf set the Predators up with two 5-on-3 situations of which they were able to take advantage.

After serving the first penalty, Phaneuf immediately picked up a second on after approaching the referee and questioning the original call.

"It's not a good time or a good decision to talk to the ref about the first call," Phaneuf said. "It's not great discipline on my part. I take the responsibility on myself.

"I questioned the first call, and I shouldn't have said anything. That's the bottom line. I can't let my emotions put the team in a bad spot."

Iginla's second power-play goal of the contest 38 seconds into the third period gave Calgary a 7-3 cushion. But David Legwand scored less than five minutes later and Vernon Fiddler converted a penalty shot with three minutes left to make it a two-goal contest.

After Calgary blue-liner Adrian Aucoin was whistled for hooking on a breakaway, Fiddler came toward the left of Kiprusoff and deked to the left before lifting a backhander over the right shoulder of the Finnish netminder.

Kiprusoff finished with 23 saves in the win.

Weber scored twice in the contest and Legwand and Erat both had a goal and two assists for the Predators, who fell to 0-4-1 in their last five road games. Nashville has given up 26 goals in that span while scoring just 16.

"Goal-scoring hasn't been a problem for us this year, it's defensively. We're giving up too many goals," Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis said. "It's the group of five guys out there not playing well together defensively.

"Defensively, we have to be better, that's obvious. But we have to have a better battle level. We have to get better in their end and in the neutral zone so we're spending less time in our own end."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 3 3 6
    CALGARY 4 2 1 7 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) CRAIG CONROY 2 (ERIC NYSTROM) 7:26
    CGY - RENE BOURQUE 3 (TODD BERTUZZI) 11:59
    CGY - CRAIG CONROY 3 (JAROME IGINLA, MIKE CAMMALLERI) 16:44
    CGY - CORY SARICH 1 (CRAIG CONROY, JAROME IGINLA) 18:55
    2ND PRD: CGY

    Nov 7 12:12 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 6
    CALGARY 7
    3RD PRD: NAS - SHEA WEBER 7 (UNASSISTED) 19:40 (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Predators 6, Flames 7  3rd - 0:20Nov 7 12:08 AM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Predators 6, Flames 7  3rd - 0:20Nov 7 12:08 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 5
    CALGARY 7
    3RD PRD: NAS - (PS) VERNON FIDDLER 1 17:00

    Predators 5, Flames 7  3rd - 3:00Nov 7 12:04 AM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 4
    CALGARY 7
    3RD PRD: NAS - DAVID LEGWAND 2 (UNASSISTED) 5:26

    Predators 4, Flames 7  3rd - 14:34Nov 6 11:41 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    CALGARY 7
    3RD PRD: CGY - (PP) JAROME IGINLA 8 (TODD BERTUZZI, DION PHANEUF) 0:38

    Predators 3, Flames 7  3rd - 19:22Nov 6 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 3 3
    CALGARY 4 2 6 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) CRAIG CONROY 2 (ERIC NYSTROM) 7:26
    CGY - RENE BOURQUE 3 (TODD BERTUZZI) 11:59
    CGY - CRAIG CONROY 3 (JAROME IGINLA, MIKE CAMMALLERI) 16:44
    CGY - CORY SARICH 1 (CRAIG CONROY, JAROME IGINLA) 18:55

    Nov 6 11:16 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    CALGARY 6
    2ND PRD: CGY - DAYMOND LANGKOW 4 (MARK GIORDANO, RENE BOURQUE) 9:25

    Predators 3, Flames 6  2nd - 10:35Nov 6 10:55 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 3
    CALGARY 5
    2ND PRD: NAS - SHEA WEBER 6 (DAVID LEGWAND, MARTIN ERAT) 8:25

    Predators 3, Flames 5  2nd - 11:35Nov 6 10:53 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    CALGARY 5
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) JASON ARNOTT 6 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, MARTIN ERAT)
    4:18 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Predators 2, Flames 5  2nd - 15:42Nov 6 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    CALGARY 5
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) MARTIN ERAT 7 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT) 3:00 (TWO-MAN
    ADVANTAGE)

    Predators 1, Flames 5  2nd - 17:00Nov 6 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    CALGARY 5
    2ND PRD: CGY - (PP) JAROME IGINLA 7 (TODD BERTUZZI, MIKE CAMMALLERI)
    2:13

    Predators 0, Flames 5  2nd - 17:47Nov 6 10:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Predators 0, Flames 4  2nd - 18:10Nov 6 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 0 0
    CALGARY 4 4 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) CRAIG CONROY 2 (ERIC NYSTROM) 7:26
    CGY - RENE BOURQUE 3 (TODD BERTUZZI) 11:59
    CGY - CRAIG CONROY 3 (JAROME IGINLA, MIKE CAMMALLERI) 16:44
    CGY - CORY SARICH 1 (CRAIG CONROY, JAROME IGINLA) 18:55

    Nov 6 10:13 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    CALGARY 4
    1ST PRD: CGY - CORY SARICH 1 (CRAIG CONROY, JAROME IGINLA) 18:55

    Predators 0, Flames 4  1st - 1:05Nov 6 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    CALGARY 3
    1ST PRD: CGY - CRAIG CONROY 3 (JAROME IGINLA, MIKE CAMMALLERI) 16:44

    Predators 0, Flames 3  1st - 3:16Nov 6 10:07 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    CALGARY 2
    1ST PRD: CGY - RENE BOURQUE 3 (TODD BERTUZZI) 11:59

    Predators 0, Flames 2  1st - 8:01Nov 6 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    CALGARY 1
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) CRAIG CONROY 2 (ERIC NYSTROM) 12:05

    Predators 0, Flames 1  1st - 7:55Nov 6 9:48 PM