Record: 22-11-4 Season Series: 2-0-0 Last Five: 4-0-1
Record: 17-17-3 Season Series: 0-2-0 Last Five: 1-4-0
PREDATORS LEADING SCORERS
Flames @ Predators 1 p.m. MT Sommet Center, Nashville, TN TV: Sportsnet West, Radio: The Fan 960
The Calgary Flames are looking to start 2009 on a high note after finishing '08 with winning all games in a four-game home stand. If there's one team the Flames do well against, it's the Nashville Predators. The Flames are 5-1-1 in the last seven matchups and have won both games against the Preds so far this season. At the last contest on November 6, Craig Conroy scored twice in the first period including a short-handed goal and added an assist to Cory Sarich's first goal.
Jarome Iginla has had two impressive games against Nashville this season. In the November 6 matchup at home, he scored two power-play goals. On October 23, he scored two of Calgary's four third-period goals en route to his eighth career hat trick at the Sommet Center in Nashville. Iginla's overall record against Nashville totals 23 goals and 19 assists in 35 games.
During Wednesday's game against the Edmonton Oilers, both Iginla and Mike Cammalleri tallied two goals and three assists. Miikka Kiprusoff picked up another win to make his record 22. He stopped 28 out of 32 shots and is 22-10-3. Curtis Glencross has returned to the lineup after being out six games with a knee injury. As a result, Brett Sutter was sent down to the Quad City Flames on Friday. He scored one goal in his NHL debut during his brief stint.
The Preds are returning from a disappointing three-game road trip where they lost all games including a 2-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks on New Year's Day. Rich Peverley scored the lone goal for Nashville. Their record is now 17-17-3.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 7-4-0 with a 2.48 GAA. He's allowed two goals or fewer in six of his last eight appearances and finished December with three shutouts.
The Flames wrap up the weekend in Chicago to face the Blackhawks at the United Center. Game time will be 5pm MT.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Rene Bourque had one heck of a December with the Flames. He scored four goals and recorded six points in the last five games putting his total to 14-9-23. He picked up a hat-trick when the Flames defeated the Ottawa Senators on December 27, and he got a goal and assist against his former team, Chicago Blackhawks, on December 19.
For the Predators...
Martin Erat has four points (one goal, three assists) in the last five games making his record nine goals and 23 points so far this season. He is two goals shy from tying Scott Walker for second on the Predators' all-time goals list.
NOTEWORTHY Both Jim Vandermeer and Brandon Prust participated in Friday's practice. Vandermeer has been out for 21 games nursing a broken ankle, and Prust has been out for the last 11 with a broken jaw. Robyn Regehr will be suiting up on this weekend's road trip. Regehr tripped on Oilers center Sam Gagner's stick and hit the boards while skating fast on an icing call. He was out the rest of the second period, but returned to the bench during the third. Although he did not practice Friday, head coach Mike Keenan said he would be in the line-up. "He's just recovering fine from the little bit of an injury he suffered but he is fine," said Keenan.
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Rene Bourque needs three points for 100 Both Dustin Boyd and Mark Giordano need nine games for 100 Craig Conroy needs three points for 500 Jarome Iginla needs three games for 900 Jarome Iginla needs nine goals for 400 Miikka Kiprusoff needs two wins to take over second place on Flames win list
The Flames will be without D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); D James Vandermeer (leg); F Brandon Prust (fractured jaw) and F Wayne Primeau (shoulder).