<
>

Vokoun, Predators hold their ground against Flames

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Jason Arnott believes the best is yet to
come from the young Nashville Predators.

Signed as a free agent by Nashville last July, Arnott scored
twice Saturday night as the Predators built a 2-0 lead after two
periods then hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.

After starting the season with three losses, Nashville (6-3-1)
has picked up points in each of its last seven games and is tied
for the Central Division lead with the Detroit Red Wings.

"We started this season not the way we wanted, but we're
improving every game," said Arnott, whose 834 career games makes
him the Predators' most experienced player. "We're a young team,
we're still learning, and good things will happen for us down the
road if we continue playing hard."

Arnott's second goal gave Calgary a 3-1 lead. Miikka Kiprusoff,
who had been spectacular all night in goal for the Flames, had no
chance when Shea Weber's shot from the blue line caromed off
Arnott's stick, changed directions, and went into the top corner of
the net.

Calgary drew back within one for the second time in the period
on Jarome Iginla's second goal of the game with 3:43 left. However,
Tomas Vokoun came up with some big saves in a hectic sequence in
the final seconds.

Vokoun finished with 25 saves to improve to 10-3-3 lifetime
against the Flames.

"We weren't good enough early," Iginla said. "We've been a
good third period team this season, but we know we have to find a
way to be better early. We need to be tied or better going into the
third instead of being down."

Nashville has won the past five meetings between the teams and
has lost just once to the Flames in their last 11 games.

JP Dumont also scored for Nashville, which started a five-game
road trip with their fourth straight road win away from home.

"It was a battle of world class goaltenders tonight with
Kiprusoff versus Vokoun and I think Vouk knew it, and he wanted to
make sure he was up for the challenge," Nashville's Steve Sullivan
said.

After playing just once in the past eight days, Calgary (3-5-1)
began a busy stretch of five games in eight days.

Matthew Lombardi had an assist to extend his points streak to
six games (3 goals, 5 assists).

Arnott made it 2-0 with a power-play goal after the Flames had
killed off two penalties earlier in the period.

"When you're penalty killing for the first period-and-a-half,
it takes a lot of guys out of the game and it gives them
momentum," Iginla said. "They don't even have to score, our
goalie can make some unbelievable saves, but it's a lot of
momentum. They took it, they built on it and it took us a long time
to get it back and in the end we ran out of time."

Early in the third period, with the Flames on the power play,
Sullivan stole the puck at the Nashville blue line and took off on
a clean breakaway only to be thwarted by Kiprusoff.

The Flames headed back up the ice where Kristian Huselius
threaded a pass to Iginla at the side of the net and the Flames
captain tucked the puck inside the post.

There were just 13 seconds left in the first period when Dumont
came up with a loose puck and snapped a shot past Kiprusoff.

Game notes
Calgary D Dion Phaneuf was out with the flu, his first
missed NHL game. In his rookie season last year, Phaneuf was one of
only four Flames to play in all 82 games. That opened up a spot for
rookie D Mark Giordano, who scored twice in his last game on Oct.
14 ... Sullivan returned to the lineup after missing three games
with back spasms ... Kiprusoff is the only goaltender that has
played every minute of his team's games ... Calgary LW Jeff Friesen
has not scored in his last 25 games.