Classic, old-time style hockey on display Friday night in Canada with the visiting Nashville Predators and the host Calgary Flames.
And what better way to open than with a good ole’ donnybrook featuring the Flames’ fighter BRIAN MCGRATTAN (10) and Predators’ protector WADE BELAK (3)?
Finnish netminder MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF (42 ga, 2.15 avg, 3 so, 92.6% sv pct) was in fine form again for the Calgary Flames but in the end it was Sweden’s PATRIC HORNQVIST (27) who settled matters in favor of the Nashville Predators.
After some work along the boards, Hornqvist heads for the net and hammers the puck past Kiprusoff for the game’s lone goal :
In his first season at the NHL level, the Hornqvist has stepped up his game and clearly established that he can score goals for the Predators. The freshly-turned 23-year-old right wing, after totaling just two goals in 28 games for Nashville last season, finished last year with Milwaukee in the American Hockey League (49 ga, 17 go 18 as, 35 pts). No such need for a return to the minors this term as evidenced by Hornqvist’s 17 goals and 30 points in 47 games.
Hornqvist, who was selected for Sweden’s Olympic squad competing in the Winter Games at Vancouver next month, has also proven himself responsible defensively with his + 12 rating.