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Preview: Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators 12/16/17 (33/82): A Tough Test Awaits The Flames

How good is Nashville? They’ve only lost 4 times since losing to Calgary....back in October.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: CBC, SN
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames finish off a quick 2 game home stand with a visit from the 1st place Nashville Predators. Despite all the “good” happening for the Flames in games lately, they can’t seem to catch a break or any luck. That luck likely won’t appear with one of the NHL’s powerhouse teams coming to town tonight. The Flames are in a weird spot right now. They are just out of the WC hunt, but they aren’t playing terrible either. In their last 3 losses they have only given up 6 goals, but the offence hasn’t been helping out Mike Smith and the Calgary defence. Where the Flames are truly struggling is on the power play. The Flames are 2-24 with the man advantage in the month of December and are 0 for their last 14 tries. If the Flames are going climb back into a WC spot they will need to correct that part of their game. There is no excuse for that kind of ineptitude, especially when you a few 5 on 3’s mixed in there.

The Pred’s are just ridiculous. They have the 3rd most points in the NHL (44), 8th in the league in GF (103) and they have the 2nd best PP as well. Oh, and they’re goaltending is out of this world as well. So outside of that there’s not much to think about coming into this contest. Nashville has only lost once in 6 tries this month, scoring 27 goals in those 6 games. They have one shut out and that wasn’t even recorded by Pekka Rinne. Juuse Saros stopped all 46 shots he faced against the Oilers Tuesday night to get his 3rd win of the season. When it’s going, it’s going.

With all that said the Flames did take down Nashville in their only meeting so far this season. Calgary squeaked out a 3-2 shoot out win back on October 24th. Since then? Nashville has gone 16-4-2. Yikes. The Flames do have some home ice advantage though as they are 7-3-0 in their last 10 at the Dome against the prehistoric cats.

Tale Of The Tape

Calgary Flames Stats Nashville Predators
Calgary Flames Stats Nashville Predators
16-13-3 Record 20-7-4
35 Points 44
4th Pacific Division 1st Central
10th West Conference 1st West
2-2-1 Last 5 4-0-1
89 Goals For 103
97 Goals Against 82
Monahan (17) Goals Forsberg (15)
Gaudreau (39) Points Forsberg (32)
Hamonic (38) PIM McLeod (72)
Smith (.918) Save% Rinne (.927)
18.3 (18th) PP% 27.3 (2nd)
76.6 (29th) PK% 83.0 (7th)
1-0-0 2017-18 VS 0-0-1
33-32-4 Overall VS 32-33-4

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 13-10-3 2.63 .918
Predators: Rinne (E) 17-4-3 2.34 .927

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 2 San Jose Sharks 3

Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe the Flames recent stretch and Thursday night’s 3-2 loss fit the pattern lately. Calgary went 0-3 on the PP and two San Jose’s goals came directly off Flames turnovers. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

Nashville Predators 4 Edmonton Oilers 0

All the Predators do is win. And score lots of goals. The Oilers were Nashville’s latest victim as Jusse Saros stopped all 46 Edmonton shots and the Preds scored all 4 of their goals in the 2nd period to sink the Oilers 4-0. On The Forecheck has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Gaudreau (F). On Thursday night Gaudreau proved he could be a jack of all trades when it came to what line he could play on. He bounced between the 1st and 3rd and was even double shifted on the struggling 4th line with Troy Brouwer and Matt Stajan. When he was moved off the top line he instantly gave energy to the other trio’s and scored the game tying goal while on the 3rd line. Gaudreau did have a costly turnover that turned into the GWG for San Jose, but you’d expect him to come out flying and put that mistake behind him.

Nashville Predators

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Fiala (C). The 11th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft is having himself quite a December. In 6 games the Swiss product has 8 points including 2 point nights against the Bruins and Canucks. As hot as he’s been, Fiala has never had a point against the Flames in his 3 years in the league.