PREDATORS (6-1-2) at FLAMES (5-4-2)
TV: FS-TN, SNW
Season series: Joe Colborne had the only goal in the shootout when the Calgary Flames beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Oct. 14 at Bridgestone Arena. Flames defencemen Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie each had a goal and an assist. Craig Smith assisted on both Predators goals and led them with five shots.
Predators team scope: Through nine games Nashville is averaging 2.44 goals, placing the Predators in the lower third of the NHL and down from the 2.61 they averaged last season. But they may have found a new scoring line with forward Matt Cullen healthy. Cullen, who teamed with Smith and Derek Roy, had an assist in his season debut Wednesday, a 4-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers, to begin a six-game road trip. Smith scored twice and Roy had an assist. "I think our line played well," Smith said in the Tennessean. "I think our unit was able to create some turnovers and use our speed and get in on plays." Forward Eric Nystrom, who has two goals and four points this season, was taken by Calgary with the 10th pick of the 2002 NHL Draft and played his first four NHL seasons with the Flames.
Flames team scope: Jonas Hiller will get the start in goal, which is significant because it marks the first time this season Calgary coach Bob Hartley has used the same goaltender in consecutive games. Hiller started opening night and had been rotating with Karri Ramo ever since, but Hiller has been masterful during his past four starts, allowing three non-shootout goals on 120 shots (.975 save percentage). His 1.63 goals-against average and .948 save percentage each ranked third in the League entering games Thursday. "It's nice to get another start but I don't take it for granted," Hiller said. The Flames have recalled forward Markus Granlund from Adirondack of the American Hockey League and placed forward Matt Stajan on injured reserve. Stajan is expected to miss six weeks with a knee injury. Colborne is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.