Granlund helps Predators past Flames 3-2

NHL Hockey
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CALGARY, Alberta (AP)Mikael Granlund had a goal and an assist to lead to lead the Nashville Predators to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

After assisting on the tying goal in the first, Granlund made it three straight goals for the visitors at 9:06 of the second, poking in a rebound after Cam Talbot had stopped the initial blast from the blue line by Roman Josi.

The goal came on the Predators’ only power play of the game.

Dante Fabbro and Kyle Turris also scored for Nashville, which has won four of its last five to climb within one point of the Flames for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Sam Bennett and Rasmus Andersson had the goals for Calgary, which lost all three games on its homestand.

Calgary was without Mark Giordano (hamstring), his first game missed due to injury since February 2015. The Flames captain is week-to-week. In the absence of the club’s ice-time leader, Travis Hamonic jumped up to the top pairing to join TJ Brodie. That pair was on the ice for all three Predators goals.

Juuse Saros made his second straight start in goal for Nashville and was sharp again. After a 33-save performance Tuesday in Winnipeg, he made 37 stops. His best stop was a pad save off Matthew Tkachuk as Calgary failed to convert a late second-period 2-on-1 that would have tied it.

Cam Talbot, in his first appearance since he was thrown out of Saturday’s game against Edmonton after his fight with Mike Smith, made 32 saves.

Calgary got off to a fast start with Bennett snapping a 12-game goalless drought just 33 seconds into the game. Skating hard to the top of the crease, he arrived just in time to redirect a centering pass from Travis Hamonic.

The lead was short-lived with Fabbro tying it at 1:49, strolling into the slot uncontested and ripping a shot over the glove of Talbot.

The Predators took the lead 10 minutes later when Turris banged in a loose puck during a scramble in front.

NOTES: Josi’s two assists gave him 401 career points. … Lindholm had an assist to extend his point streak to five games. … Brandon Davidson, called up earlier in the day from Stockton (AHL), stepped into the Flames’ lineup with Oliver Kylington (illness) also not available.

UP NEXT

Predators: Off to a 2-0-0 start on its four-game trip, Nashville’s next stop is Saturday night at Edmonton.

Flames: Begin a four-game trip Saturday night at Vancouver.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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