Glencross caps Western Night with hat trick, Flames beat Predators

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CALGARY -- During the offseason, Curtis Glencross spends his time working on his family's ranches and following the chuckwagon driving circuit.
Naturally, the Calgary Flames forward would have a big game on Western Night.
Glencross is nursing a bad wrist that put him out of action for a couple of games last weekend, but that hasn't slowed his scoring. He netted a hat trick Friday, all the goals in the third period, to help lead the Flames to a 6-3 victory over the Nashville Predators at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"Makes sense when you think about. He's as western as it gets," said defenseman Mark Giordano.
The end result never seemed in doubt, but Glencross, whose 12 goals leads the Flames this season, broke the game wide open for good early in the third period and capped his night with an empty-netter, which sent the cowboy hats to the ice in his honor.
"The coaches came in after the game and said, 'Oh, that's fitting -- Cowboy Night and you get your hattie," said Glencross, who has four goals and five points in the last two games. "After I got the second one, I said 'It would be kind of cool to see a whole bunch of cowboy hats come on the ice.' It's a little different. Doesn't happen very often."
His first goal came on a lucky bounce. A rebound bounced off his leg and into the net 1:14 into the final period, putting Calgary in front, 4-1. His second was a perfectly executed redirection of Lee Stempniak's cross-ice pass.
The Flames improved to 11-11-4 by winning their sixth straight home game.
Now they must take that act on the road, with a three-game trip which goes through Dallas, Nashville and Columbus.
The Predators fell to 11-11-6. They have just one victory in last nine road games, and they still have two more dates on their current five-game swing, Sunday in Edmonton and Tuesday in Columbus.
On a night when the Flames picked a theme that honored both cities' ties to the country lifestyle, the hosts gave their fans reason to party early. Giordano and Blake Comeau scored with Calgary's first two shots on-goal to chase Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne, who was replaced by Chris Mason.
"We've let our goaltenders out to dry a little bit," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. "Both nights they've scored five goals on 14 shots. I pulled Pekka right off the bat. It wasn't his fault. It was just they recovered the breakdowns.
"We're in the situation where guys are standing alone in front of our net. I'm not going to ask our goaltenders to make those kind of saves. I pulled him real quick after they scored the first two goals on the first two shots.
"Not necessarily he could have done a whole heck of a lot on any of them," Trotz said, adding he was "just trying to change the mojo a bit and put Chris in there and see if I could get the attention of our bench."
Rinne, whose been among the best in the league the last couple of seasons but surrendered six goals on the last 14 shots he's faced, pointed at himself for being hooked on back-to-back nights.
"No reason, just that kind of start," Rinne said. "I think it was the right call. Obviously things weren't going the right way. I think they scored good goals but obviously for us, just a bad time."
"It's embarrassing. I have no excuses. It's just embarrassing. I have to find a way to help my team and it's been a tough go the last two games but at the same time, just somehow have to erase these two games and move on."
Jiri Hudler added a second-period, power-play goal for the Flames, while goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 17 saves to record the win.
Gabriel Bourque, Mike Fisher and David Legwand scored for the Predators. Mason wound up saving 16 of the 19 shots he faced.
NOTES: Sergei Kostitsyn was a healthy scratch by the Predators, a curious move considering their scoring woes and the fact that they were without forwards Patrik Hornqvist, Colin Wilson and Paul Gaustad. ... Comeau scored goals in consecutive games for the first time since coming to Calgary and the first time since March 2011, while he played for the New York Islanders. Comeau, who snapped a 24-game goal-scoring drought when he netted his first of the season, has three goals in six games. A former 24-goal scorer a couple of seasons ago, he managed only five goals all of last season. ... This is the fourth time Rinne has not finished a start in his last eight outings. It's a strange set of circumstances for a goalie who also has five shutouts this season. ... The Flames have yet to record a shutout this season. ... The Flames now have a record of 5-2-1 when facing teams which played the night before. ... Glencross is the third player to net a hat trick this season against the Predators. The others are Kyle Palmieri of the Anaheim Ducks and Corey Perry of the Los Angeles Kings. The Predators surrendered only three hat tricks in total over the previous two seasons

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