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First-period goals hold up as Predators dump Flames

Jan 16, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) skates with the puck against Calgary Flames center Jonathan Huberdeau (10) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Roman Josi and Juuso Parssinen scored first-period goals and the host Nashville Predators hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday to snap a three-game losing skid.

Goaltender Juuse Saros made 38 saves, 21 of them in the third period, in a strong outing. Among his big saves were a clutch stop on Dillon Dube midway through the final frame and a couple in the final minute with Tyler Toffoli twice failing to convert golden opportunities.

Nikita Zadorov replied for the Flames, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots.

Nashville, not only looking to end the slide but also aware the Flames hold one of the wild-card positions in the Western Conference, was the better team in the first period and took a deserved 2-0 lead by the intermission.

Josi opened the scoring at the 8:26 on a fortunate bounce. His point shot was going wide but banked off Zadorov and into the net for his 12th of the season.

Parssinen doubled the edge with 5:36 remaining in the opening frame. Parssinen joined a rush as he left the penalty box and found himself on the spot to shove a loose puck over the line for his fifth of the season. With the goal, he tied the franchise rookie record with a seven-game point streak, in which he’s collected two goals and seven assists.

The Flames desperately needed a momentum boost and finally received it when Zadorov notched his seventh goal of the season by burying a wrist shot from the point with 1:53 remaining in the second period.

Within a minute, Markstrom made a spectacular barrel-roll save on Mikael Granlund to keep his team within one shot of tying the game.

The Flames appeared to have evened the contest early in the third period, but upon review it was ruled Toffoli kicked the puck into the net.

Despite controlling most of the third period the visitors could not find the equalizer and finished a five-game road trip with a 2-1-2 record.

–Field Level Media