Predators become prey

Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots in his shutout of the Predators last night. (QMI...

Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots in his shutout of the Predators last night. (QMI Agency/Mike Strasinger)

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

NASHVILLE -- Someone should check the Predators' backs for tire tracks.

They're the latest Calgary Flames' host to become road kill.

Tying a franchise record with at least a point in their 10th straight contest away from the Saddledome, the Flames ran over the Preds last night in a 5-0 victory at the Nashville Arena.

Not that the Flames had any clue about the run.

They just wanted to avoid what happened on the weekend in Columbus, where they grabbed a lead and got sloppy before having to charge back in the third period to tie it and then earn the win in a shootout.

"That's the kind of game we've been working on and want our game to be at. Everyone's having fun out there," said Flames winger Curtis Glencross, who finished with a goal and an assist last night.

"Coaches came in after the second period in Columbus and said, 'Was the first period fun? And was the second period fun?'

"We said the first period was fun, the second period was no fun. Tonight, we (played hard) all three periods."

The only player that might have felt like he was involved in a shootout was Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne, who was beaten by David Moss early in the second period on a breakaway after the Flames winger blocked Dan Hamhuis' point shot and chased the loose puck up ice.

Extending his goal-scoring streak to four games, Nigel Dawes added to the lead three minutes later on the powerplay, smacking his own rebound into the net after deflecting a pass from Jarome Iginla into Rinne's pads.

Adam Pardy, Glencross and Iginla rounded out the scoring in the third period to finish off the squad's most-complete effort of the season and show what kind of outing they're capable of.

Their biggest mistake came early on and the only damage done was to Pardy's face when big Brian McGrattan pegged him with the puck and gave him a handful of stitches over the left eye as he tried to get it out of the defensive zone.

"He tried to chip it out, and he thought there was still glass, and it was just me standing there," Pardy said with a grin.

"I took it right in the eye."

The Predators took it on the chin as the Flames came at them shift after shift.

The few times the Preds managed to push back, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stood strong in the Flames' net.

"We didn't give them much," Moss said.

"And the chances that they did get, Kip was great again. It was a complete effort."

Completely oblivious to the record they can shatter with a fourth straight win on the road Thursday in Phoenix -- or a loss that comes in extra time -- the Flames are well aware now of how they have to play to have more nights that look as easy as their latest victory.

"We know what happened the other night in Columbus. We kind of let up and started to be too cute," Pardy said.

"We turned over way too many pucks in the second. It's something we talked about."

Wearing the Preds down to the point they felt they had to pull their goalie with more than four minutes left to take advantage of a powerplay -- Glencross scored a shorthanded goal from almost 200 feet away -- the Flames found the balance they've been looking for all season.

"As of late, things have been pretty loose," said Moss.

"Guys are having fun -- playing hard, but at the same time, playing with confidence.

"You can see that."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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