Tonight is the first of three matchups between the Flames and Predators. Calgary shut out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 the night before, while Nashville will be looking to get back on the scoreboard being blanked 4-0 by the Minnesota Wild.
Karri Ramo is likely to get his second start in as many days. The 27-year-old Finnish netminder stopped all 23 of Carolina's shots en route to his first NHL shutout. Newly minted alternate captain (and everyone's favourite) Mikael Backlund and rookie (and everyone's other favourite) Sean Monahan scored for the Flames, picking up their seventh and 13th goals of the season. Check out Ruhee's recap here, and the boxscore of the game here.
Backlund, on wearing the A:
"I found out when I got to the game. My jersey was hanging there, and I always move my jersey so it's not in the way, and I saw the A, and I was a little surprised. I got a little nervous for a second but then I was really happy and honoured and proud. Bob [Hartley] came and told me, 'Yeah, you're wearing it tonight. You play good and you deserve it. Just keep doing the same thing.'
"It gave me a nice boost. I felt great. ... It's something that most players always dream about, to be a leader on a team. To wear a letter, it's the best thing in the world. That's big for me."
"There's a bit of luck always involved. Sometimes bounces go the other way. Today, a couple bounces went my way. I don't think this was particularly my best game of the year or anything. But it's still a winning game, and when you don't allow goals, it's easier for the team to win."
The Predators, meanwhile, are ending a five game homestand. They are 1-2-1 in their first four games, having beaten San Jose but falling to Anaheim and Minnesota, and having lost to Ottawa in overtime. Pekka Rinne is still out with an E. coli infection in his hip, so it looks to be Carter Hutton with the start. Hutton has a .902 SV% and 3.01 GAA for the Preds in 20 games this season with no shutouts. Shea Weber leads the team in scoring with ten goals and 29 points in 44 games, while David Legwand is the highest scoring forward with seven goals and 28 points. Craig Smith and Mike Fisher lead Nashville in goals with 13 and 12 respectively.
Check out the opposition at On the Forecheck.
The last time the Flames and Preds met was back on April 23, 2013, towards the end of a season both franchises would likely rather forget. The Predators beat the Flames 4-3 in a game between two of the worst clubs of that season (Nashville ended up finishing 27th, while Calgary finished 25th). TJ Brodie is the only goal scorer for the Flames still with the team, while Legwand and Nick Spaling are the remaining scoring Predators. Neither goalie from that game will play tonight, as Rinne hasn't played since October, while Miikka Kiprusoff retired. It was the Flames franchise goaltender's last NHL game. You can find the old boxscore here.
GameTime: 6:00 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Season Series: Clean slate. Tonight is the first of three matchups.
All-Time Series: The Flames are 25-25-6 against the Predators.
Current Series Streak: 2-0 for the Predators.
Flames: 16-24-6, .413, 38 points, on pace for 68 points. Sixth in the Pacific Divsion, 13th in the Western Conference, 28th in the NHL. Current streak: one win.
Predators: 19-21-7, .479, 45 points, on pace for 79 points. Sixth in the Central Division, 11th in the Western Conference, 24th in the NHL. Current streak: one loss.