Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators, 7:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
TV: SN1 - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 27-21-6 (60 pts) - Nashville Predators 25-20-7 (57 Points)
Calgary will wrap up a three game home stand before they hit the road for four games with a visit from the Nashville Predators. The Flames are currently having an identity crisis at not exactly the best time of year and there doesn’t appear to be a quick fix. The Flames have dropped four of out their last five and they don’t seem to have any sense of urgency in their game. Luckily for the the Flames the Pacific Division is such a dumpster fire that Calgary is only two points out of second place and they still have a two point lead over the Predators for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Let THAT sink in for a few.
While the Flames are struggling to figure out whether they want to play hockey beyond April 4th, that decision may have been made for them Tuesday night. During the Flames 3-1 loss to the Sharks, Flames defenceman Mark Giordano left with a lower body injury in the second period after attempting a shot. Giordano had an MRI Wednesday, but the results weren’t released. If the Flames are without their captain for any stretch of time it could be a major issue for this current group. Giordano has only one goal is his last 37 games, but had points in four of his last five and is one of only five (!) Flames in the plus column in regards to +/-.
Nashville meanwhile is making a quiet push to climb into that last Wild Card spot. A win over the Flames tonight would put them in a tie for 8th place, despite Nashville being one of the most inconsistent teams this season. Nashville has only one winning streak of more than three games and that came all the way back in October. Since starting the season with a record of 8-3-1, Nashville has gone 17-17-6. Not the kind of play that instills confidence in a fan base or franchise.
Part of Nashville’s issues has been the ability to keep the puck out of their own net. They’ve allowed 169 goals on the season and neither of their goaltenders have a Save% above .900 (both Rinne and Saros are at .898). In Nashville’s last nine losses they have given up 41 goals, while only scoring 20 times. Not a good goal differential at all.
The Flames and Predators last met on Halloween night with Calgary winning a wild affair, 6-5 in OT. Oddly enough that loss sent Nashville on a streak where they lost eight out of their next nine. Nashville has won five out of the last 10 times they’ve some to the Saddledome and the Flames haven’t swept a season series from the Pred’s since back in 2015.
Flames: Talbot (Expected) 7-7-1, 2.70 GAA, .919 SV%
Predators: Rinne (Expected) 17-12-3, 3.01 GAA, .898 SV%
Flames - Goals: Lindholm (22), Points: Tkachuk (42), PIM: Tkachuk (56), Save%: Talbot (.919)
Predators - Goals: Forsberg (18), Points: Josi (51), PIM: Watson (49), Save%: Rinne (.898)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Nashville Predators Coverage: On The Forecheck
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 1 - San Jose Sharks 3
Nashville Predators 2 - Winnipeg Jets 1 (OT)
Players To Watch
Elias Lindholm (C): 4 points in last 5 games
Matt Duchene (C): 4 points in last 5 games