M&G Gametime Preview: Flames Host Predators

The Predators pay Calgary a visit for a matchup at 7PM. Although both teams are still mathematically still in the running for a playoff berth, the only thing at stake is a higher draft position.

Tonight at seven, the Nashville Predators will face off with the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. This will be the third and final match this season between the interdivisional foes. The two clubs have split the first two games. The Flames will be closing up a short two-game homestand after having defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 3-1 on Tuesday night. They'll play the Oilers in Edmonton tomorrow night. The Preds are playing in the third game of a four game roadtrip. They lost the first two, 5-1 to the Oilers on Tuesday, and 2-0 over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. They'll close up against the Blackhawks in the Windy City on Sunday.

A Look Back

The last time these two met up, it took 65 minutes plus four shootout rounds to crown Calgary as a 5-4 winner. All of Nashville's four markers were tallied by forward Eric Nystrom. For the Flames, David Jones potted two, Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, and Kris Russell collected two helpers. In the shootout, both Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan were successful against Devan Dubnyk (27-of-31), while Roman Jusi was the only Pred to beat winning goaltender Reto Berra (12-of-13). * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights

After the match, Monahan described his game winning shootout goal:

I [saw] a couple guys try to go to his blocker side there and obviously Hudler came down and brought it to his backhand and something opened up so I tried to do the same. Fortunately enough, I found a spot through the five-hole.

On the Forecheck has all the Predators news that you could ever hope for.

In Calgary's last action, the Flames defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. After spotting the Sabres a 1-0 lead and failing to score until there was one minute remaining in the second period, the Flames scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 victory. Joe Colborne (8) tied it, Mike Cammalleri (20) scored the go-ahead, and Paul Byron (SH, 5) iced it with 6:33 remaining. Nathan Lieuwen stopped 23-of-26 shots in his NHL debut, while Ortio earned the victory by making 13-of-14 stops. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights

Cammalleri talked later about the Flames having won nine of their last 11 at home:

That's a good thing. It's fun to play well at home. We love our fan support and we want to play well for them and have them help us win games and have a place that's uncomfortable to come in and play. We have a lot of home games here the next while and we know that.

For Sabres news, go to Die By The Blade.

Nashville dropped a 2-0 decision to the Vancouver on Wednesday. The Canucks rode a 26-save shutout by Eddie Lack and third-period goals by Nicklas Jensen and Alexander Edler to earn the victory. Carter Hutton made 20-of-22 saves for the Predators loss. * Full Recap * Box Score * Video Highlights

Nashville coach Barry Trotz underscored a basic truth about offense in the NHL:

We've got to get some goals for our goaltender. Carter Hutton had a good game for us. We need some production from our forwards. We've got virtually zero. If our defense aren't scoring, we're not scoring it seems like.

If you would like to see more on the Canucks, see Nucks Misconduct.

GameTime: 7PM

Season Series: Split after two matches, both in January. The Predators won 4-2 on the 14th, and the Flames took a 5-4 overtime decision on the 24th.

All-Time Series: The Flames are 26-26-6 all-time against Nashville.

Standings

Calgary Flames: 28-34-7, 63 points, .457. Sixth in the Pacific Division, 13th in the Western Conference, 26th in the NHL. Last five: L-W-W-L-W, Playoff Odds: .003%

Nashville Predators: 29-31-10, 68 points, .486, Seventh in the Central Division, 12th in the Western Conference, 25th in the NHL. Last five: W-W-L-L-L, Playoff Odds: .1%


Calgary Flames Injuries

QUESTIONABLE

PLAYER INJURY TYPE INJURY DATE
Jiri Hudler other-excused 03/18/2014

OUT (IR / OUT / SUSPENDED / PHYSICALLY UNVAILABLE)

PLAYER INJURY TYPE INJURY DATE
Karri Ramo knee 02/01/2014
Markus Granlund other-excused 03/10/2014


Nashville Predators Injuries

PROBABLE

PLAYER INJURY TYPE INJURY DATE
Patric Hornqvist other-excused 03/09/2014

Flames Leaders

Games Played: TJ Brodie, Chris Butler - 69, Mikael Backlund - 68

Goals: Mike Cammalleri - 20, Sean Monahan - 19, Mikael Backlund - 17

Assists: Jiri Hudler - 30, Mark Giordano - 28, TJ Brodie - 21

Points: Jiri Hudler - 44, Mark Giordano -39, Mikael Backlund - 35

Faceoffs: Joe Colborne (208-for-430) - 48.4%, Matt Stajan (444-for-921) - 48.2%, Mikael Backlund (548-for-1154) - 47.5%

Hits: Lance Bouma - 155, Ladislav Smid - 125, Joe Colborne - 106

Blocked Shots: Chris Butler - 180, Kris Russell - 149, Ladislav Smid - 125

Shots-on-Goal: Mike Cammalleri - 161, Mark Giordano - 150, Mikael Backlund - 144

Don't forget to follow Matchsticks and Gasoline on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and check back later for the lines and pairings. The GameThread goes live just before game time.

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