CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Pekka Rinne shook off a rough outing against the Vancouver Canucks and bounced back with a shutout win over the Calgary Flames.
Two days after the Nashville Predators were routed by the Canucks, Rinne made 33 saves and earned first-star honors by beating the Flames 2-0 on Saturday.
``We all were mentally prepared and just ready to go,' said Rinne, who was pulled from Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Canucks after what he called a ``rough start.' Rinne allowed four goals on 16 shots in the first period.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz had no doubt that Rinne would be better on Saturday.
``Last performance he was fine,' Trotz said. ``It wasn't anything about Pekka Rinne, it was just a lot of bad luck. We were tipping pucks in and they scored one on a deflection. When you need a win, Pekks is always the guy who can stand up and give you a real good performance, and he did.'
Niclas Bergfors and Sergei Kostitsyn scored for the Predators (3-3-1), who snapped a four-game losing streak.
``It's two points,' Nashville captain Shea Weber said. ``We found a way. It wasn't pretty, we didn't generate a whole lot, but you know what? We won.'
Miikka Kiprusoff made 12 saves for the Flames (2-4-1), who are 1-1-1 halfway through their six-game homestand.
``We're playing pretty good hockey and we're starting to get that consistent play, but we're not getting results,' Calgary captain Jarome Iginla said. ``Over the last little bit, we haven't got all the points out of the games that we wanted, but we're starting to play the way we need to. If we stay with that, we'll get ourselves on a hot streak.'
The Flames carried the majority of the play in the first period and outshot the Predators 8-3.
Rinne's best save came when he kicked out his left pad to turn aside a shot from the slot off the stick of Olli Jokinen.
Although he wasn't tested much in the opening period, Kiprusoff had to be sharp to make a pad save on a shot by David Legwand late in the period.
Bergfors gave Nashville a 1-0 lead 2:34 into the second period. It was his first goal with the Predators since signing with them in the offseason.
Defenseman Jack Hillen's shot deflected off Flames forward David Moss and then Bergfors before bouncing into the net behind Kiprusoff.
Calgary appeared to tie the game when Tim Jackman swatted the puck past Rinne. The goal was disallowed because Tom Kostopoulos interfered with Rinne, impeding him from making the save.
``We were hoping it would be good,' Iginla said. ``Talking to Jacks and TK, they thought they were just going for the puck, but that's part of it. On another night that counts. Some nights it doesn't.'
The Flames continued to press in the third period and had a great chance to get even when Lee Stempniak swatted a rebound toward Rinne, who turned aside the shot with another outstanding pad save.
``I saw the puck laying there and I knew somebody was going to get his stick (on it) pretty soon,' Rinne said. ``I was able to get my pad there and was lucky to save that.'
A short time later, Jokinen had a wide open net to shoot at, but Nashville defenseman Jonathan Blum reached behind him to block the shot.
``It hit the defenseman's stick or post,' Jokinen said. ``The puck kind of came slow. I don't know if I would have had time to take it more toward the net. There was a lot to shoot at. This time it didn't go in.'
Rinne praised Blum for his effort.
``That's one of those game-changing plays,' Rinne said. ``That puck went through me. I thought that for sure it's in the back of the net. Blum came to the rescue and made an outstanding play and saved my bottom right there.'
The Predators got the insurance goal they were looking for at 14:36 of the third when Smith set up Kostitsyn for an easy tap-in goal.
Notes: The Flames beat the Predators all four times last season. ... Nashville enforcer Brian McGrattan played his first game against Calgary since suiting up for 34 games for the Flames during the 2009-10 season. ... After scoring twice and adding six assists in Nashville's first four games, Legwand was pointless for the third straight game.
The Associated Press News Service
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