|Calgary Flames @ Nashville Predators, 6 PM MT. Bridgestone Arena, Nashville TN|
|TV: RSN, FSTN|
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Flames have a chance to inch closer to moving up and out of the 8th and final playoff spot if they can take down the Predators tonight in Nashville. The Flames are treading water in the West and they have their rivals to thank for that. Calgary hasn’t been playing lights out hockey lately, but luckily for them neither has the rest of the conference. Calgary comes into this contest seeking a little revenge as they were dumped by the Predators 4-3 in their only meeting this season back on January 19th. Make no mistake, this is a massive game for the Flames and they can’t afford to come out sluggish and play from behind. Two points is all that separates these two teams and the Flames would love nothing more than a season series split and a chance to tie the Predators with 64 points.
Nashville is one of those teams allowing Calgary to hang around in the West. The Preds are 5-5-0 in their last 10 and have lost 3 of their last 5. Nashville is leaving the door open by giving up 3 or more goals in 7 of their last 10, one of those being a 7-4 pounding by the Florida Panthers. Home is definitely where heart is this season for Nashville as they find themselves 15-7-6 at their home barn. As for the Flames? They are 14-18-1 all time when visiting the home of country music, but on the bright side the Predators have lost 3 straight to the Flames in Nashville.
Here’s how the teams match-up:
|Calgary Flames||Nashville Predators|
|4th Pacific||Division||4th Central|
|8th West||Conference||7th West|
|Monahan (19)||Goals||Arvidsson (18)|
|Backlund (39)||Points||Johansen (40)|
|Tkachuk (92)||PIM||Watson (76)|
|Johnson (.912)||Save %||Saros (.931)|
|20.0 (12th)||PP %||18.8 (17th)|
|81.2 (18th)||PK %||82.0 (12th)|
|Flames: Elliott (E)||12-13-3||2.76||.898|
|Predators: Rinne (E)||22-15-6||2.43||.918|
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 1 Vancouver Canucks 2 (OT)
Calgary last took the ice on Saturday night and dropped a heart breaker to the Canucks 2-1 in OT. Brian Elliott took the loss giving up 2 goals on 19 shots and Mark Giordano got the Flames only goal with 5 seconds left in regulation. Here’s our recap and the highlights from the contest.
Nashville Predators 4 Columbus Blue Jackets 3
The Predators got a much needed win on Sunday by beating the Blue Jackets 4-3. The victory was Nashville’s 2nd in 3 games and they were lead by James Neal and his 2 point night. On The Forecheck has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Hot: Matthew Tkachuk (F). What hasn’t been said about the Flames 19 year old rookie phenom? Tkachuk is now second on the team in points and has 6 points in his last 5 games. Two of those points are goals, but what’s more impressive is how easily he finds his teammates on the ice and is creating plays for Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. Tkachuk was held pointless in the Flames 4-3 loss to the Predators on January 19th.
Not: Sam Bennett (C). Bennett has disappeared into one of his patented funks. The young centre has 2 points in his last 21 games, his longest stretch of futility since he went pointless in 9 straight earlier this season. Bennett is an RFA at the end of this season and he’s not exactly playing himself into a huge deal. The worst part of this streak he’s on right now is he’s invisible at times and not contributing on any level.
Hot: James Neal (F). Neal was in a nice little slump of his own, going pointless in 7 straight until he exploded for 5 points in 3 games over the last week. James had 2 assist nights against both Dallas and Columbus, both Nashville wins. Of Neal’s 29 points, 15 have come at home and he scored a goal in Nashville’s 4-3 win over Calgary.
Not: Filip Forsberg (C). The former 11th overall pick is struggling lately. He has a goal and an assist in his last 5 and if you stretch that back even further, Forsberg has only 4 points in his last 10. Forsberg had a goal in Nashville’s win at Calgary, which is something that he does often. Of his 36 points, 30 have come in a Predators win. When they lose? Only 6 points and he’s a -31.