PREDATORS (20-17-7) VS. FLAMES (24-20-3)
BROADCAST: 7:00 PM MT; Sportsnet West (TV), Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio)
SEASON SERIES: Thursday's game is the first of a three-game season series between the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators. The clubs will face off again on Feb. 21 and Mar. 23, with both of those contests taking place in Nashville. In their 2015-16 series, the Flames went 2-1-0 and outscored the Predators 6-5 in those contests. Johnny Gaudreau led all skaters with five points in last year's trio of games.
PREDATORS' TEAM SCOPE: The Predators have a depleted blueline due to a string of injuries to P.K. Subban, Roman Josi and Petter Granberg. In response, they recalled Alexandre Carrier from Milwaukee (AHL) on Jan.12 and claimed Brad Hunt off of waivers from the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 15. Carrier made his NHL debut on Tuesday in Vancouver and Hunt has joined the team in Calgary. With 47 points on the year, the Predators are sitting one point back of the Los Angeles Kings, who sit in the second Western Wildcard spot, and are trailing the Flames, who are holding onto the first Wildcard position, by four points. They are in the midst of a four-game road trip that will see them make stops in Edmonton and Minnesota after their game in Calgary.
FLAMES' TEAM SCOPE: The Flames may have Micheal Ferland back in the lineup on Thursday. The forward has missed the past three skates with a lower body injury but was a game-time decision that evening and head coach Glen Gulutzan noted he was 'very close' to returning. Garnet Hathaway (upper body) remains day-to-day and his status for the game is unknown. Calgary is coming off of a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers, which saw Mikael Backlund record his fourth three-point game of the season. Backlund leads the Flames in scoring with 14 goals and 32 points through 47 games.