Rhett to the rescue

Calgary Flames defenceman Rhett Warrener watches the puck go past Nashville Predators goaltender...

Calgary Flames defenceman Rhett Warrener watches the puck go past Nashville Predators goaltender Chris Mason in overtime at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Thursday. (Sun Media/Kevin Udahl)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Rhett Warrener's heroics are usually saved for the defensive zone.

Last night, the Calgary Flames defenceman scored what may be the biggest goal of this season, the winner in last night's 3-2 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators.

Warrener, the veteran of 676 NHL games who only recently notched his 100th career point, was johnny-on-the spot to pot the goal that sparked celebration at the sold-out Saddledome.

For the winner, Stephane Yelle won the faceoff in the Nashville zone and drew the puck back to Alex Tanguay.

He spied Warrener driving the net and fed a perfect pass for the defensive defenceman to redirect just through the legs of Preds goalie Chris Mason. The puck just trickled over the line.

Calgary, 39-25-10, regains its six-point edge on Colorado for eighth place, and the final playoff spot, in the Western Conference.

The Flames, coming off back-to-back victories against the two top teams in the West, have eight games remaining on their schedule.

Colorado has nine games left, beginning with tonight's tilt in Edmonton against the freefalling Oilers.

Warrener's goal was a fitting conclusion to a game in which the Flames were the better club from start to finish and generated an edge in scoring chances.

In fact, three Flames shots rang off the post.

Despite Calgary holding the early edge in play, the Preds opened the scoring with a powerplay goal just past the midway point of the opening period.

While causing havoc in front of the net, Jason Arnott received the Peter Forsberg pass and whipped a near-side offering past netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

It's Arnott's sixth goal in four games against the Flames this season.

Tanguay pulled Calgary even with a powerplay goal of his own within a couple of minutes.

Kristian Huselius began the pretty three-way passing play, firing a cross-ice pass to Jarome Iginla. The team's top goal scorer faked the shot before sending a long feed across the ice to Tanguay, who hit a wide-open net.

After a scoreless middle frame, in which Calgary did a masterful job killing a trio of penalties, the visitors again took the lead a mere 43 seconds into the third period.

Vernon Fiddler zoomed past Huselius and broke for the net, getting a pass from Forsberg in time to make the redirection between Kiprusoff and the near-side post.

It appeared that lead would hold up, as Mason came through with a handful of big saves while the Flames pressed for the equalizer, including Huselius' breakaway attempt.

However, a lucky break with less than four minutes remaining pulled the hosts back even. Iginla sent a shot toward the net but the shot was blocked partially by Greg Zanon.

Instead of harmlessly bouncing away, the puck ricocheted to Craig Conroy, who lifted it over Mason's arm to rejuvenate the squad and set up the OT heroics.

In the game within the game, the best was the showdown between Kiprusoff and Arnott. Kiprusoff stoned the Preds centre on several occasions.

Kiprusoff finished with 23 saves, while Mason blocked 26 for the Preds (47-21-7).


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