Hutton's previous start before a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 5 came Dec. 27. Rookie Marek Mazanec primarily has handled the Predators' goaltending duties in the absence of injured starter Pekka Rinne. Mazanec played four games in the past week, including back-to-back home starts Saturday and Sunday.
It also is Hutton's first start since he allowed a late, game-winning goal to the Hurricanes' Jeff Skinner after which coach Barry Trotz said of Hutton's performance: "That's not good enough for this League. He wasn't strong at all."
In addition to lack of playing time, one factor that will make Hutton's task more difficult is the Predators' lack of practice time. They have not practiced since last Wednesday due to the busy schedule of games and off days, so Hutton said he took the opportunity Monday -- an off day for the rest of the team -- to work with teammates Gabriel Bourque and Victor Bartley and get in some extra work.
"For me, without a lot of practice, you have to find other ways to stay on top of it," Hutton said. "… Still came in here and was able to get some reps in and get some work in instead of having almost two days off because we didn't [have a morning] skate on Sunday."
Asked where he thought Hutton's confidence was, Trotz said that would be a question for Hutton to answer. Hutton said he and Trotz met after Trotz made his comments Jan. 5.
"It's obviously not something you enjoy hearing," Hutton said, "and it's tough to hide from it with social media and everybody in your face but me and him talked. I think it was just more heat of the moment than anything. He kind of expressed that to me and he realized after, I think. It's just one of those things as a head coach he's under a lot of pressure. Everybody's under a lot of pressure and sometimes it's not my night. It goes from one goal … that's the hazards of being a goalie."
Calgary coach Bob Hartley said Karri Ramo would start again in goal after making 23 saves in a 2-0 shutout of Carolina on Monday. Hartley said the Flames would use the same lineup as they did Monday, a win that ended a three-game losing streak.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Scratched: Derek Smith