Predators' latest victory lifts them to top of Western Conference

Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 7:42pm
Staff reports

Martin Erat and Marcel Goc each had a goal and two assists as the Nashville Predators defeated the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Saturday at Calgary.

With the victory – their fourth straight and sixth in the last seven – the Predators tied three other teams for the most points in the Western Conference. Chicago, Los Angeles and San Jose all started the day with 47 points and none played on Saturday.

Nashville’s 22 victories also are tied for most in the conference.

The Blackhawks, which have played three fewer games than the Predators, will play Sunday against Detroit. The Sharks, who have one game in hand, will play Monday at Dallas.

Nashville concludes its current three-game road trip Tuesday at Vancouver.

Defenseman Cody Franson, who was recalled earlier in the week, scored put the Predators in front to stay after they had blown an early two-goal advantage. Franson scored at 4:14 of the third period and then Dave Scatchard added an empty-net goal with 26 seconds to go.

Erat gave the Predators an early lead when he scored at 4:22 of the first period. He then had an assist when David Legwand made it 2-0 at 12:30 of the first and had the primary assist on Scatchard’s goal.

In so doing, he assumed the team lead in goals (12) and points (24).

Jerome Iginla two goals and an assist as the Flames surged to a 3-2 midway through the second period.

Goc finally answered for Nashville with his sixth of the season, with 2:50 to play in the second. He also had assists on the goals by Erat and Franson.