Originally written on The Predatorial  |  Last updated 1/1/12

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 12: Defenseman Kevin Klein #8 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Edmonton Oilers on October 12, 2009 at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

With Kevin Klein returning from a 6-game absence, the Nashville Predators had a chance to gain ground on the rest of the Western Conference tonight as they played the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s only contest of the evening.

Little did we know that this would become Sergei Kostitsyn’s finest night in his career. Collecting the hat trick on an empty net goal with 29.8 seconds left in the 3rd period, Kostitsyn’s 3 goals led the way for the Predators as the beat the Flames for the third time this season (and taking the season series) with a 5-3 win.

Nashville is now 3-1 without Shea Weber playing, including 3 straight wins over conference opponents, pulling within 3 points of 4th place Detroit and 1 point of 6th place St. Louis.

———————————

On Ollie Jokinen’s 1,000th game and with Jarome Iginla only 2 goals away from 500 all-time, the Calgary Flames knew they had to come out strong and exploit a Nashville defense that was having problems without a healthy Kevin Klein and a concussed Shea Weber. The Flames would do just that only 3:47 into the first period as Iginla would get his 499th goal and give Calgary a 1-0 lead early.

Nashville wouldn’t sit back, though, and after missing the last 6 games, Kevin Klein came back in full force, firing a Nick Spaling feed right past Mikka Kiprusoff to tie the game at 1 at 12:39 of the first. The Predators weren’t finished either, Sergei Kostitsyn made it 2-1 Predators after tapping a Mike Fisher threaded pass into the net at 15:06.

The second period would be all Nashville. Outshooting Calgary 15-4, the Predators put two more goals on the board: one from Matt Halischuk (his NINTH goal of the season) at 2:27 and one more from Sergei Kostitsyn at 5:59. In a period that was dominated so much by Nashville, two goals didn’t feel like it was enough to put down the Flames for good.

Calgary wasn’t finished, though, and started to make the Nashville faithful a little nervous by cutting the deficit to two with a Rene Bourque goal at 1:17 of the third period. After exchanging penalties midway through the third, it seemed as though Nashville would survive a Flames team that was trying to claw there way back in, but Calgary decided to make it a little more interesting. Brendan Morrison made it a 4-3 game with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the third period after being left all alone in front of the net and capitalizing on a T.J. Brodie feed.

Yet, Nashville’s Sergei Kostitsyn would finish his hat-trick, chasing down a Kevin Klein dump shot and putting it in the empty net to seal the deal and give the Predators the 5-3 win to send the 6th-straight Nashville sellout crowd home happy.

———————————

HIGHLIGHTS:


Special Teams:

Powerplay – 0 for 2, 0%
Penalty Kill – 3 for 3, 100%

Best Play of the Game: Sergei Kostitsyn chose to shoot and not to pass, firing a puck that squeaked through Miikka Kiprusoff’s pads and made it 4-1 Predators at that point

Worst Play of the Game: You just can’t leave players wide open in front of the net. Twice tonight the Predators left a player open right in front of the net and they capitalized. Jarome Iginla with the first goal of the game and Brendan Morrison with the Flames third goal of the game

My Three Stars:

#1: – Sergei Kostitsyn – 3 g, 0 a, +1 on the night. SK’s first ever hat trick led the way for the Predators

#2: – Kevin Klein – 1g, 1a, +1 on the night. Klein’s return after 6 games was a great one, collecting two points and helping the Predators get a big win

#3: – Patric Hornqvist – 0g, 2a, +1 on the night. He’s turning in to being Mr. In-The-Right-Spot, feeding passes that led to two great goals tonight.

———————————

Stay tuned to The Predatorial Thursday morning for the gameday preview of the Stars game!

———————————

Stay frosty, friends.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL official: Footballs known to have leaks 'right out of the box'

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker