FLAMES (40-28-7) at PREDATORS (47-21-8)
TV: SNW, FS-TN
Season series: The Calgary Flames have won the first two games against the Nashville Predators, including a 3-2 shootout victory Oct. 14 in Nashville. Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win in Calgary on Oct. 31. Predators forward Craig Smith has a goal and two assists.
Flames team scope: Calgary has lost two in a row and three of four (1-1-2), including a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday. The Flames are one point behind the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division and three points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Forward Paul Byron had an assist and was plus-1 in 13:06 on Friday, when he returned from a lower-body injury that had kept him out of the lineup since Feb. 16. "I think that Pauly fits right in. We use him like everybody else -- we know his role, we know what he can bring to the team," coach Bob Hartley told the Flames website Saturday. "[Friday], I felt that he was probably one of our best forwards."
Predators team scope: Nashville clinched the first playoff berth from the Western Conference with its 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. The Predators have a three-point lead on the St. Louis Blues for first place in the Central Division. "Everybody in our division wins every night," coach Peter Laviolette said. "We've got to keep winning, we've got to keep playing. The guys played hard all year and put ourselves in a position to clinch at this point in the season. To earn that -- sometimes you get in, you don't even play; somebody loses, and you get in." Nashville trails the Anaheim Ducks by one point for first place in the West; they have one game in hand on Anaheim. Forward Filip Forsberg has two goals and an assist in the past three games. He leads rookies with 59 points (23 goals), one more than Gaudreau.