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Blue-liner Rhett Warrener scores OT winner as Flames down Preds 3-2

The Canadian Press
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Calgary Flames Rhett Warrener, left, and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff celebrate Warrener\'s winning goal. (CP PHOTO/Jeff McIntosh) Author: The Hockey News

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Blue-liner Rhett Warrener scores OT winner as Flames down Preds 3-2

The Canadian Press
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Calgary's Stephane Yelle won a faceoff deep in the Predators zone knocking the puck to Alex Tanguay along the boards. Tanguay fired a pass in front that Warrener deflected through the pads of Nashville goaltender Chris Mason, sending the sell-out crowd of 19,289 into a frenzy.

Trailing 2-1, Craig Conroy put the Flames back to even at 16:13 of the third period.

Jarome Iginla's shot attempt deflected off the stick of Nashville defenceman Greg Zanon and bounced across the slot right to where Conroy was breaking in and he snapped the puck past Mason.

Tanguay also scored for Calgary (39-25-10), which picks up a pivotal two points as it tries to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Flames are up six points on the red-hot Colorado Avalanche.

Calgary had lost eight straight against Nashville since last beating the Predators on Jan. 22, 2004.

Jason Arnott and Vernon Fiddler scored for Nashville (47-21-7), who moves into a tie for first place overall in the NHL with Buffalo. The Predators also maintain their one point lead over Detroit in the Central Division.

Losers of four of its last five, including the first two stops in a three-game trek through Western Canada, the Predators play in Edmonton on Saturday before returning home for a five-game homestand.

Tied 1-1 after two periods, Nashville regained the lead 43 seconds into the third period.

Fiddler got behind Flames winger Kristian Huselius and outraced him to the net where he neatly steered in Peter Forsberg's perfectly placed pass behind Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

Forsberg set up both Nashville goals. Since being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in a Feb. 15 trade, Forsberg has picked up a goal and eight assists in 10 games.

Kiprusoff had 24 saves for the Flames.

His best stop came with less three seconds left in the second period as Predators rookie Rich Peverley hustled into the Calgary zone. Driving to the net, Peverley zipped a backhand pass across the top of the crease to Arnott, breaking in the other side, who had what looked to be a sure goal taken away by an acrobatically stretched Kiprusoff.

After giving up an uncharacteristic 20 goals in his previous five starts, Kiprusoff has been excellent the last starts having also stopped 30 of 31 shots against Detroit on Tuesday.

Nashville opened the scoring at 10:04 on the power play, as Arnott took Forsberg's pass and from in-close, and whipped a high shot over Kiprusoff's shoulder.

Calgary drew even on a power-play goal of its own less than two minutes later.

Iginla faked a shot and slid the puck across the slot to Tanguay, who fired a shot inside the near post before Mason could slide across.

It was the Flames eighth power-play goal in the last six games.

Notes: - Tanguay extended his points streak to five games (three goals, four assists)... With RW Jordin Tootoo sitting out the second game of a five-game suspension, Nashville coach Barry Trotz opted to dress seven defencemen for the second night in a row... Nashville D Shea Weber played in his 100th NHL game... The Predators played the final game of 19 sets of back-to-back games for the season. They are 13-3-3 in that second game... With eight games left, Calgary has scored 236 goals, which is the most offence they've had in a season since scoring 241 in 1995-96.

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Blue-liner Rhett Warrener scores OT winner as Flames down Preds 3-2