Gameday: Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators, 4/23/13

CALGARY FLAMES

at NASHVILLE PREDATORS

April 23rd, 2013
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, Tennessee
7:00 p.m. CDT
TV: FOX Sports Tennessee
Season series tied 1-1

The Nashville Predators have lost eight games in a row as the 2013 NHL season draws to an end, putting them within sight of a top-five draft pick this summer. Tonight, in their last home game of the season, they play host to the Calgary Flames, winners of three in a row.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

(15-21-9, 5th in Central)

No team in the NHL has been worse than Nashville over its last 10 games. The Preds are 1-7-2 in the month of April.

NHL: Phoenix Coyotes at Nashville Predators

One of the Nashville Predators’ key players is out once again. (PHOTO: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

Key players

More so than who is playing tonight for the Preds is who isn’t playing among those not on injured reserve. Mike Fisher (9G-10A) had hoped to come back for tonight’s game but won’t be on the ice. Taylor Beck (3G-4A) is out with an upper-body injury, making him the first of the AHL call-up players to miss time with the big club. Patric Hornqvist (4G-10A) is also out, as is Brandon Yip (3G-5A), clearing out room for three more AHL call-ups (Daniel Bång, Kevin Henderson, and Austin Watson) to hit the ice again tonight.

Others to watch

NHL: Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks

Matt Halischuk is fighting for his job right now. (PHOTO: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Pending RFA Matt Halischuk (4G-6A) is playing for a job next year. He posted two goals and an assist in the last game against Chicago after having been blanked the previous four games.

Bobby Butler (4G-6A) is in a situation similar to Halischuk’s. He has goals in his last three of his last four games.

CALGARY FLAMES

(19-22-4, 3rd in Northwest)

Calgary has been playing pretty decent hockey lately. They’ve won three in a row and have been playing spoiler to lots of teams looking for playoff spots despite having been out of contention themselves for some time now.

Key players

NHL: Phoenix Coyotes at Calgary Flames

Mike Cammalleri has four points in the last two games. (PHOTO: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Cammalleri (13G-19A), the team’s leading scorer, has been instrumental in the Flames’ recent winning form. He put up two points in each of the last two games and has five in his last four games.

Others to watch

Former Portland Winterhawks product Sven Baertschi (2G-5A) had one point in his first 13 games this season. Over the last five games, though, the 20-year-old Swiss winger has two goals and four assists.

Bottom line

Aside from determining whether the Nashville Predators will creep into the top five for the NHL Draft this summer, there’s less meaning in this game than there is in what you had for breakfast this morning. The only exception is for players trying to impress the coaches so they can land a job for next season. With all of that factored in there’s no way to tell what’s going to happen, so at least there’s some sort of suspense.

Tags: Calgary Flames Nashville Predators

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