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Preview: Flames @ Predators

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (13-14-2) at PREDATORS (15-10-5)

TV: SNF, FS-TN (6:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames won all three of their games against the Nashville Predators last season. Forward Joe Colborne's shootout goal gave the Flames a 3-2 victory on Oct. 14. Calgary scored three third-period goals in 4:01 for a 4-3 win on Oct. 31. Two goals from forward Lance Bouma helped the Flames to a 5-2 victory on March 29.

Flames team scope: Winners of five consecutive games, all at home, Calgary begins a four-game trip against opponents who were a combined 70-33-17 entering Monday. Coach Bob Hartley is hoping the Flames can translate their success at home, where they've won nine straight, to the road. "It's four big games against four excellent hockey clubs," Hartley told the Flames website. "We will need to be at our best. We want to be a playoff team, we have to win those games. … It's important that we keep playing the same brand of hockey." Forward Sam Bennett and defenceman Dennis Wideman each took a maintenance day Monday and is expected to play. Goalie Karri Ramo will start after missing the past two games with the flu. Calgary has the NHL's worst power play (11.6 percent) and penalty kill (70.9 percent). "We're going to keep working," Hartley said. "We fixed some pieces of our game and now we need to keep going. It's all in the confidence. Every part of our game will have to be going full throttle."

Predators team scope: Coach Peter Laviolette is wary of Calgary's offense, which is 13th in the League at 2.7 goals a game but averaged 4.4 goals during its perfect five-game homestand. "I remember the games from last year, they were wide open," Laviolette told the Predators website. "They play a game that's more run and gun, so we have to pay attention to their offense. They have some dangerous players." Forward James Neal was given a maintenance day and did not practice Monday. Forwards Colin Wilson (lower body), Mike Fisher (lower body) and Gabriel Bourque (upper body) all remain sidelined. Nashville has alternated wins and losses its past four games, and is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. "The one thing that stands out for me most, if you're weighing the last three or four games, is just trying to be consistent with what we're doing," Laviolette said. "We've lost that consistency along the way at times."

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