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Quick Thoughts: Predators and Flames

The Nashville Predators take on the Calgary Flames tonight in the conclusion of their five-game home stand.

Not exactly a marquee matchup between two teams running near the back of the pack in the playoff race, with the Predators at 19-21-7 (11th in West) and the Flames holding a 16-24-6 record (13th in West).

The Predators are looking for five out of a possible 10 points in their five-game home stand, and the Flames seek two consecutive wins in as many days.

Without further ado, our updates and notes for tonight’s game at Bridgestone Arena at 7 pm (CST):

  • Lighting the lamp has been difficult for both clubs this season: Nashville ranks 26th in the NHL with 109 goals scored, and the Flames are three slots behind that at 29th with 100 goals for the campaign (Despite their 99 goals, the Florida Panthers are ranked one spot ahead of the Flames due to their game in hand).
  • The Flames have been shutout five times in their last nine games–but turned the tables on their opponent last night–defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0.
  • Offense might be even more difficult for the Flames to find tonight as their second-leading point scorer Mike Cammalleri (also tied for first in goals with 13) will be out of the lineup due to a concussion suffered at the end of last week.
  • The Predators have been blanked a league-leading seven times, including a 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild in their last contest (the second time the Wild have shutout the Preds this season).
  • Nashville had no new injuries to report after their game on Sunday which means Pekka Rinne is the only guy on the shelf for the Predators. Patric Hornqvist returned from a lower-body injury against the Wild after missing the two previous games.
  • The real lineup choices for the Predators should come down to either forwards Rich Clune or Gabriel Bourque (scratched last game) and between Mattias Ekholm and Victor Bartley (has not played in the new year).
  • The Flames big choice will be who starts between the pipes tonight. Karri Ramo earned a 23-save shutout last night. I would expect Calgary to go right back to the hot hand on consecutive nights, but there is still a real possibility that Reto Berra makes his 21st start of the year (both netminders have roughly split time this campaign).

As the day progresses we’ll have updates for you on lineups, starting goaltenders and other news so check back for more information closer to game time.

UPDATE: 11:00 am, head coach Barry Trotz confirms Carter Hutton will start in net tonight for Nashville. His first start in four games (lost last start 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes).

UPDATE: 11:02 am, Stu Grimson reports Karri Ramo will indeed by making his second start in net in two days for Calgary.

 

Thomas Willis is the new Editor at Predlines.com and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @thomaswillis20. For the latest updates in Predator news, follow @PredlinesNSH

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