CALGARY — Exhaustion quickly turned to elation for Matt Duchene.
Duchene capped a gruelling overtime shift by scoring the overtime winner for the Nashville Predators in Tuesday's 3-2 win that ended the Calgary Flames' run of victories at six.
“Probably top-five most tired I've ever been during a shift," Duchene said. "I was a bit of a tripod in the d-zone there."
On a two-on-one rush following a stretch of extended pressure from the Flames, Mikael Granlund fed Duchene, who lifted a shot over Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom at 1:37 of extra time.
Duchene had been thinking of heading to the bench when teammate Mattias Ekholm fell.
"I'm like, 'oh, I'll hang in it' and (Granlund) put a great pass on my stick and I was just able to get a shot off," Duchene said.
Duchene also had an assist in the Predators' fourth straight win. Granlund had two assists.
Nashville starter Juuse Saros stopped 38 shots. Half his saves came in the first period when Nashville led 2-1 despite getting outshot 20-9.
"We got unbelievable goaltending,” Granlund said. “We were not even close to our best tonight.”
Luke Kunin and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville (5-4-0), which plays the second of a four-game road trip Wednesday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
Matthew Tkachuk and Oliver Kylington scored for Calgary (6-1-2). Markstrom stopped 19 shots in the loss.
In one stretch in the opening period, the Predators surrendered three breakaways in a two-minute span with Blake Coleman, Dillon Dube, and Tkachuk all failing to convert and break what was then a 1-1 tie.
The Predators took a 2-1 lead at 18:37 when Forsberg fired a perfect shot inside the far post on Markstrom.
"The first period they really took it to us and we had some major breakdowns, but (Saros) allowed us to stay in the game,” said Predators coach John Hynes.
“There's a lot of areas to be able to clean up. You'll take the two points, but I think when we continue to talk about process. I think we have to make sure we're much better in certain areas tomorrow."
Calgary drew even at 3:20 of the third period when Kylington jumped into the rush, took a pass from Chris Tanev, and wired a wrist shot off the crossbar.
That sequence began with Andrew Mangiapane patiently maintaining the puck in the offensive zone while surrounded by Predators, which allowed his linemates to complete a change and eventually get the puck to Tanev.
The Flames had a chance to win it late, getting a power play with less than five minutes to go, but the league's third-best man-advantage entering the game failed to convert and finished the night 1-for-6. The Predators were 0-for-2.
“I was never worried that we weren't going to get that game to overtime. I actually thought the way it was going, we were going to win it in regulation,” said Tkachuk. “But anything can happen three on three and they got the extra point.”
Calgary has points in eight straight games after dropping its season-opener to Edmonton.
“It's still a step for us. It's a battle-back point. You come from behind in the third, it's still a good point,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “In the past, this team wouldn't have got a point.”
The Flames entered the game 6-0-1 when they scored first, but it was Nashville opening the scoring at 10:11 when Carrier's rising wrist shot was redirected out of the air by Kunin for his first goal of the season.
It was the first time Calgary trailed had trailed in a game since the season-opener.
The Flames are at home to the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Notes: Flames RW Brett Ritchie left the game and didn't return after being shaken up in a fight with Mark Borowiecki... Forsberg also missed the last half of the third period. No update was available on either player's condition... Johnny Gaudreau's seven-game scoring streak was snapped . . . Sean Monahan and Granlund each played in their 600th career NHL games.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2021.
The Canadian Press