NASHVILLE – Life on the road has been good for the Calgary Flames.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 22 shots in his second straight shutout, leading the Flames to a 5-0 victory over the Nashville Predators 5-0 on Monday night for their third straight road win and fourth straight overall.
Calgary is 10-1-3 on the road compared to a 7-5-0 at home.
“I don’t know if there is anything we do differently on the road,” said Adam Pardy, who scored a goal. “We pride ourselves on being a good road team.”
It was the third shutout of the season for Kiprusoff, who also blanked Detroit 3-0 on Friday night. He has 33 shutouts in his career.
“We did a real good job of playing smart hockey,” said Calgary coach Brent Sutter. “Our puck management was very good. We were able to capitalize in the third period and get three goals. I would say it was a very good effort on everyone’s part.”
The success on the road has also increased the confidence factor for the Flames.
“You have to have trust in your teammates that they are going to do their jobs,” said Pardy. “With Miikka behind us we are pretty confident standing up, forcing teams to dump pucks, staying up on the rush and not allowing the other team too much time to make plays.”
After a scoreless first period, the Flames broke the deadlock 1:32 into the second. David Moss took control of the puck in the neutral zone and skated in on a breakaway, beating Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne to his right with a backhand shot.
“I think we stuck with our game plan the whole way through,” said Moss. “When you do those little things right over and over again it wears the other team down.”
A little over three minutes later Nigel Dawes struck on the power play. Jarome Iginla passed the puck from the right side along the goal line. Dawes, stationed in front of the crease, took a couple of swipes at it before putting it past Rinne, again to his right side.
“Nigel is getting in those areas to score goals,” said Sutter. “He is just playing a really intelligent game. He has found some consistency and has certainly taken his game to a level that we would like to see him play at every night.”
At 8:09 of the third period the Flames scored again when Adam Pardy blasted a shot from the top of the slot that beat Rinne high to his left side.
Curtis Glencross scored a short-handed goal with about 4 minutes left, finding the open net after the Predators pulled Rinne. He also had two assists.
Predators coach Barry Trotz said the decision to remove Rinne at that point was an attempt to generate some offence.
“You figure if we put out six players to their four, then maybe we’ve got a chance to get a quick power play goal,” said Trotz. “It wasn’t like we were loading up on offensive chances. We needed numbers so we pulled our goalie.”
Iginla scored on the power play to close out the scoring with 1:07 left to play.
Trotz pointed to a lack of energy as the main problem for his team.
“Calgary didn’t allow us to get our energy going, plain and simple,” said Trotz. “We shouldn’t be a tired team. We’ve got to come out of the gates quicker. If the players say they’re tired, I’d say that’s an excuse.”
NOTES: Rinne and Kiprusoff are both in the running to be the starting goaltender for Finland’s Olympic team. … Dawes has goals in his last four games, a career high. … Nashville’s penalty kill has only been scored on in three games out of the last 11. … Calgary has won the last five games in the series dating to last season.