Forsberg, Duchene lead Predators to 4-1 win over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
Mark Jankowski and Roman Josi also scored for Nashville, which had lost seven of eight (1-6-1) after opening the season with back-to-back wins against San Jose in Prague. Kevin Lankinen made 29 saves.
“We played the way we wanted to play,” Forsberg said. “We played with poise with the puck, we were attacking the game and breaking out really well.”
Blake Coleman scored his first of the season for Calgary, which has lost three straight after winning five of its first six games. Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves.
The Flames last lost three straight in regulation at home from March 29 to April 5, 2021.
“We weren’t ready to play, obviously,” Calgary center Elias Lindholm said. “We talked about it and had a couple meetings and practice and stuff like that and still came out flat, no energy, and pretty much did that to ourselves tonight.”
Nashville took control in the opening period, outshooting the Flames 12-3 and carrying the play.
Janikowski got the Predators on the scoreboard with 29 seconds left as he took the rebound from a shot by Michael McCarron and snapped it into the back of the net to open the scoring.
After Calgary forward Jonathan Huberdeau coughed up the puck, the Flames got caught on a line change as Duchene and Forsberg both ended up behind their defense and Forsberg beat Markstrom over the goalie’s shoulder at 59 seconds of the second to make it 2-0.
“(Duchene) made a great little tap play to me. I just came off the bench and typical long change that I took advantage of,” Forsberg said.
The Predators went on the power play shortly after and only needed 29 seconds to extend their led as Josi scored on a wrist shot from the blue line with Forsberg providing a screen in front.
“Fil had an amazing screen,” Josi said. “Obviously that shot is not going to go in if Fil isn’t screening the goalie. There wasn’t much going on.”
Forsberg, who signed a $68 million, eight-year extension in July, has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last five games.
“Filip’s a great player. He’s one of the drivers of our team on and off the ice,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “Guys didn’t want him to go anywhere. He’s a driver. When he plays the way he played tonight, he gives us a great chance to win.”
Calgary eventually spoiled Lankinen’s shutout bid 1:43 into the third when Coleman converted Mikael Backlund’s pass.
Duchene’s empty-netter with 14 seconds left capped the scoring.
“Not good enough. Not enough energy,” Backlund said. “We just didn’t have the jump that I expected and it was all of us and we all know we all have to be better.”
TANEV’S STREAK SNAPPED
Flames D Chris Tanev (upper body) did not play, ending a string of 215 consecutive regular-season games played. He hadn’t missed a game in the regular season since a broken leg sidelined him for the final month of the 2018-19 season. Tanev missed four playoff games last season due to a dislocated shoulder and a torn labrum, the latter resulting in offseason surgery.
FORSBERG CRACKS TOP THREE
Forsberg’s two points gives him 481 career points, moving him into a tie with Martin Erat for third on the Predators’ all-time list. David Legwand is first with 566 points and Josi is second at 549.
Predators: At Vancouver on Saturday night in the third of their five-game trip.
Flames: Host New Jersey on Saturday night in the finale of their season-high eight-game homestand.
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