Flames earn key win over Predators

Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Lance Bouma scored a pair of goals, and the Calgary Flames took a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

Jiri Hudler posted a goal and an assist to help the Flames get at least a point for the fifth time in their last six games. With 89 points, Calgary moved a point ahead of Los Angeles for the third spot in the Pacific Division.

"There's a lot of work to do here, and the main goal is to make the playoffs," said Bouma. "We're taking every game like it's a game seven and everyone is really enjoying it."

Calgary also got goals from Kris Russell and Michael Ferland, and Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in the win.

A day after clinching a playoff berth themselves, the Predators lost a four- game winning streak. Carter Hutton started in place of star goalie Pekka Rinne and allowed four goals on 29 shots.

"I don't think we were at our best tonight," said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. "It seemed like we were slow to get into the battles, or at least getting our second or third man into the battles."

Roman Josi and Seth Jones scored Nashville's goals.

Just three minutes after Nashville went up 1-0 on Josi's goal, Bouma scored the first of four straight Calgary goals. His initial shot was blocked, but he picked up the loose puck in the slot and slid it through Hutton's pads for his 15th goal of the season.

The Flames used a fortunate bounce to take the lead with 2:14 remaining in the first when Russell's shot from the point deflected off Paul Gaustad's skate into his own net.

Ferland scored his first career goal in the second period to extend Calgary's lead. After a long cycle down low, he redirected Drew Shore's centering pass into the net.

"I was always itching to get that first one, and I always imagined how it would feel," said Ferland. "I feel like I got 200 pounds off my back now, and it was one of the best feelings I've ever had, for sure."

Hudler, the league's leading scorer in March, added to that lead just past the midpoint of the second. He won the race for a loose puck during a slow Predators line change and wristed the puck by Hutton to create the three-goal margin.

With Hutton off the ice awaiting a delayed penalty call, Jones cut Nashville's deficit to two goals. Mike Ribeiro's cross-ice pass through a seam found Jones, and he snapped a shot off the goalpost and in.

Bouma scored his second goal of the game with the net empty in the game's final minute.

Game Notes

Calgary won all three games in the season series ... Nashville was without the services of its captain, Shea Weber, for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury ... The Flames improved to 21-1-1 when leading after two periods ... The Predator were 27-2-4 when scoring the first goal.