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Flames Burn Down Predators


Cory Stillman is helping the Calgary Flames cope with life after Theo Fleury.

Stillman's shorthanded goal helped the Flames to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday, their fifth win in six games. All have come on the road and without Fleury, who was traded to Colorado Feb. 28.

"With him leaving, we realize that this is our team now," said Stillman, who leads Calgary with 47 points. "We're a young team, and we wanted to prove that just because Theo wasn't here didn't mean that the Calgary Flames didn't belong in the NHL."

The 25-year-old Stillman now has a bigger leadership role than ever before.

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  • "I want to accept the challenge," he said. "Right now I'm making the best of it along with the other 20 guys that are in the lineup every night."

    Ken Wregget made 32 saves for the Flames, who climbed into seventh place in the Western Conference.

    "I thought we played a heck of a hockey game," Calgary coach Brian Sutter said.

    Both Nashville goals came on the power play as the Predators saw their two-game win streak end.

    "This was a blow, but there are 14 more games and no one has a crystal ball to see what Calgary's going to do," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

    After a scoreless first period, Hnat Domenichelli put the Flames ahead with a power-play goal early in the second. He skated across the slot from left to right and redirected Phil Housley's wrist shot by Mike Dunham.

    It was Domenichelli's third goal in just 11 games with Calgary, and his second power- play tally in as many games.

    "Hnat's played well the last few games for us," Flames center Andrew Cassels said. "He's a guy who can score goals."

    Stillman nearly made it 2-0 moments later on a shorthanded chance, but Dunham robbed him with a sprawling glove save. Stillman finished the job with a shorthanded goal at 16:06 of the second period, whirling and firing a slap shot from the high slot.

    "He came up with a great save, but I had my opportunity the next time and I beat him from the top of the circles," Stillman said.

    Just 24 seconds later, Nashville's red-hot Sebastien Bordeleau cut it to 2-1 on the power play. Bordeleau, who entered this season with eight career goals, scored his 15th of the year and fifth in the last five games on a snap wrister over Wregget's glove.

    A soft goal by Valeri Bure gave the Flames some breathing room. His wrist shot from the slot skipped off Dunham and in, and Calgary led 3-1 early in the third.

    Bure said: "This team was desperate for a win. This pretty much puts them out."

    "We felt like we let this one get away," Dunham said. "I'm mad at myself for the third goal."

    Cliff Ronning's tip-in at the right post on the power play cut it to 3-2 with 7:01 left. Ronning has 19 goals for the Predators, and 10 of them have come with the man advantage.

    Nashville's Sergei Krivokrasov had a golden opportunity to tie it with 4:00 left. He pounced on a loose puck in the high slot and fired on Wregget, but couldn't beat him. Wregget then made a glove save on John Slaney.

    "You have to give them credit, they are very strong defensively," Predators captain Tom Fitzgerald said. "They have good young players, and they have a veteran goalie."

    The Flames' Rene Corbet scored the final goal into an empty net.

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