NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Nashville
(Tuesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Nashville 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO)
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Martin Erat's goal in the shootout lifted the Nashville Predators to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Bridgestone Arena.
Erat also scored in regulation along with Steve Sullivan and Jerred Smithson for the Predators, who have won three straight and remained in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Nashville holds the seventh seed.
Pekka Rinne made 42 saves in the victory.
"It wasn't one of our best games, by far," Predators forward Jason Arnott said. "We pulled through and got two points. You can say ugly win, but we'll take the two points. That's all that matters."
Simon Gagne and Chris Pronger scored third-period goals for the Flyers, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit and earned at least a point for the fifth time in their last seven games overall (3-2-2).
Philadelphia's starting goaltender Michael Leighton was injured in the first period and did not return. Leighton, who yielded two goals on just five shots, has a high ankle sprain and is considered day-to-day. Brian Boucher replaced Leighton and ended with 24 saves.
Jeff Carter added a goal for the Flyers, who currently sit in seventh place in the East, three points ahead of Boston and two behind fifth-place Ottawa.
In the shootout, Philadelphia forwards Danny Briere and Claude Giroux both failed to score before Erat's wrist shot lit the lamp. Mike Richards was then denied on a double-deke move at the left post as Nashville surrounded Rinne in celebration.
The Flyers trailed by two with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, but used goals by Gagne and Pronger to tie the game.
Gagne's 14th goal of the season drew the visitors within 3-2 at the 11:14 mark. Matt Carle sent a pass into the crease area from along the lower left half-wall and Gagne's fourth whack at the rebound from near the right post finally crossed the goal line.
Just over three minutes later, the Flyers knotted the contest on the power play. Pronger, who on Saturday notched the game-winner against Chicago with two seconds to play in the third period, again provided the heroics. This time, Pronger crept in from the point and, from the low slot near the inner rim of the right circle, accepted Richards' pass from behind the net and buried a wrist shot into the back of the cage with 5:42 to go.
"We had a number of good chances on [Rinne]," Pronger said. "We probably could have had four or five [goals in the third]."
After Carter opened the scoring only 1:21 after the opening faceoff with his 33rd goal of the season, Nashville scored twice in less than three minutes.
First, at the 4:33 mark, Sullivan's 14th tally tied it up before Erat created a 2-1 Nashville lead at 7:04.
Midway through the first period, the Predators moved ahead 3-1 on Smithson's ninth goal of the season. David Legwand held control of the puck at the base of the right half-wall and passed into the near circle for Joel Ward, whose wrister was saved by Boucher. The rebound, though, sat loose at the top of the crease before Smithson poked it home at 10:05.
Gagne moved into a tie with Gary Dornhoefer for 10th place on the Flyers all- time points list with 518...The last time the Flyers visited Nashville, the game also ended in a 4-3 shootout victory by the Predators December 3, 2005...The Flyers ended 1-for-2 on the power play, while Nashville did not gain a power-play chance in the contest...Pronger has 10 goals this season...The Flyers will continue their four-game road trip on Thursday in Dallas.
03/17 01:30:20 ET