Ville Leino scored two goals, including the game winner, to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Jeff Carter had a three-point night (a goal and two assists), while Claude Giroux added two assists as the Flyers broke a three-game losing streak on a night where the team honored Bobby Clarke.
The Predators got goals from Marcel Goc and Joel Ward but could not keep up with the high scoring Flyers. The loss was the fourth in a row for Nashville with the Predators only scoring six goals during the streak.
In goal, Sergei Bobrovsky won the battle of the rookie netminders, stopping 26 of 28 Predator shots, while his counterpart, Anders Lindback, played his best game in six weeks, but still gave up three goals on 29 Philadelphia shots.
The Preds and Flyers started the game playing a close, checking game with only seven combined shots in the first ten minutes. All that changed quickly when both teams scored goals 59 seconds apart.
The Flyers struck first at 10:18 after a Predator turnover at the blue line when Carter out-faked Alexander Sulzer and put the puck past Lindback. At 11:17, Cody Franson skated into the Flyers zone and sent a shot at the net that rebounded directly to Goc who put it past Bobrovsky to tie the game 1-1.
The first period ended with no penalties and fairly even play. Both teams had several scoring chances on odd man rushes after turnovers.
The Predators got a bad break at 10:48 in the second when Goc appeared to have scored his second goal of the game but the officials waived off the goal due to alleged incidental contact by Patric Hornqvist on Bobrovski.
With exactly 58.2 seconds left in the middle stanza, Kevin Klein took on noted brawler, Dan Carcillo after he had shoved Goc into the boards at center ice. Both Klein and Carcillo received fighting majors and Carcillio picked up an additional two minute minor for boarding.
Tthe Predators played much better in the second period and outshot the Flyers, 13-8, but were unable to get on the board.
The Flyers came back and scored the go ahead goal on the power play at 6:55 in the third period when Carter shot from the corner and Leino picked up a rebound and stuffed it between Lindback’s pad and the post to make it 2-1 Flyers. The penalty on Ward that gave the the Flyers the man advantage was more than questionable as Ward had been mugged repeatedly by Danny Briere before the call went against him.
At 10:18, Ward retaliated against the Flyers when he and came back with his own power play goal on a rebound after a Shea Weber shot and a Marty Erat fumble to tie the game, 2-2.
The Flyers got the final tally with 3:14 left in the game when Giroux centered a perfect pass to Leino who was open in the slot and was able to one-time it past Lindback to secure the victory.
In spite of the loss, the Predators held on to fourth place in the Western Conference with 61 points. There is no room for further slips as there are only three points separating the Predators and tenth place Calgary. The Predators returned home immediately after the game where it will not get any easier as they will face the Central Division leading Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at the Bridgestone Arena at 7 p.m.