|Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB|
|TV: RSNW, FSTN|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames and Predators will clash for the first of three meetings this season as Calgary tries to send Nashville further towards the basement in the West. The Flames will look to win their second straight at home and gain a little more breathing room from those nipping at their playoff heels. Calgary is riding the hot hands of Mikael Backlund and his 3M line and the recently rejuvenated Sean Monahan. Monahan has scored in 3 straight games and the line of Backund, Frolik and Tkachuk combined for 7 points in the Flames 5-2 win over Florida on Tuesday night. The Flames are 4-3-1 this month and a little momentum coming into Saturday’s contest with Edmonton would be huge for this team.
Nashville sits 4 points behind the Flames in 10th place in the West and these could be 2 very important points for the Predators. The Preds are 5-4-1 in their last 10, having just had a 3 game winning streak snapped by the Vancouver Canucks. The Predators are 12-17-3 over their lifetime when coming to Alberta and recent history hasn’t been too kind to them. Nashville is 3-7-0 in their last 10 trips to the Dome, including a 3-2 OT loss the last time these two teams met.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Nashville Predators|
|4th Pacific||Division||4th Central|
|7th West||Conference||10th West|
|Backlund (14)||Goals||Neal (14)|
|Backlund (32)||Points||Johansen (30)|
|Johnson (.923)||Save %||Saros (.957)|
|21.1 (11th)||PP %||18.1 (16th)|
|81.6 (16th)||PK %||82.8 (12th)|
|Starting Goalies (E=Expected C=Confirmed)||Record||GAA||Save %|
|Flames: Johnson (E)||16-10-1||2.24||.923|
|Predators: Rinne (E)||16-12-6||2.36||.921|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 5 Florida Panthers 2
The Flames last took to the ice on Tuesday night and laid into the Florida Panthers 5-2. The Flames could have won 7-2, but two goals were taken off the board due to coaches challenges. The Flames fell behind early on 2 soft goals, but showed resiliency and stormed back with 5 unanswered goals to get the win. Here’s our recap, the highlights, Mikael Backlund’s post game thoughts and the stats from the contest.
Nashville Predators 0 Vancouver Canucks 1
The Predators second night on a western swing took them to Vancouver where they fell to the Canucks 1-0. Nashville fired 30 shots on Ryan Miller, but weren’t able to find the back of the net. Henrik Sedin’s 999th point sunk the Preds and snapped a 3 game winning streak. On The Forecheck has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.
Players To Watch
Calgary Flames: Mikael Backlund (C). Backlund has been appearing here a lot and with good reason. He leads the Flames in goals and points and has been carrying the Flames this season. Backlund had a 3 point night (2G 1A) against Florida, giving him 5 points in his last 5 games. He’s got 20 of his 30 points at the Saddledome and is +5 (he’s a +18 in Calgary wins). Backlund has 3 points in his last 5 games against the Predators.
Nashville Predators: Austin Watson (LW). Watson only has 11 points on the season, but 4 of them have come in his last 5 games. The only game in the stretch where he failed to register a point was in the Preds 1-0 loss to the Canucks. Of his 11 points, 6 have come on the road, as well as 37 of his team leading 46 PIM. Watson has only played in 3 games against the Flames and has stayed off the score sheet and out of the penalty box.