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Flames host resurgent Predators

by John Kreiser

PREDATORS (23-22-7) at FLAMES (17-27-7)


Last 10: Nashville 5-4-1; Calgary 3-6-1

Season series: The Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames are playing for the second time in 11 days. Nashville won 4-2 at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 14. The teams complete the season series in Calgary on March 21.

Big story: The Predators come to Calgary looking to extend a hot streak that has seen them win four times in five games, including a come-from-behind 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday that began a four-game trip. Calgary is trying to build on a 3-2 win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday that ended a franchise-worst seven-game home losing streak.

Team Scope:

Predators: Nashville entered Thursday as the only team that hadn't won a game when trailing after two periods. The Predators had been 0-21-2, but they earned a big two points by scoring twice in the final 20 minutes to beat the Canucks.

Nick Spaling set up Craig Smith's tying goal, then got the game-winner with 7:22 remaining.

"This group is used to digging out of little holes," coach Barry Trotz said. "In the third we just said, 'We gotta dig in here. We gotta find a way. We know what we gotta do.' We turned too many pucks over in the second period, and when we did that, we got slower, defending too much. We had to push the pace a little bit and climb the ladder."

Flames: Coach Bob Hartley was doing some tinkering Thursday, and the result could be a switch that moves young center Joe Colborne to the wing.

Hartley feels the move could speed Colborne's development.

"Obviously, he's on a trial basis. You look at center, we have three young centermen with (Mikael) Backlund, (Sean) Monahan and Colbie, and we have [Matt Stajan]. I want to fast-forward all of those guys' progression, so the best way is to try to give them maximum ice time," he said after practice. "I feel that because of Colbie with his size, he can work the boards. Right now he's learning a new position. I think that whether we put him back at center or keep him on the wing, it's going to make him a better player.

Who's hot: Nashville captain Shea Weber has three goals and five points in Nashville's past five games. … Monahan scored his team-high 14th goal in the win against the Coyotes.

Injury report: Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (hip) remains on injured reserve. … Calgary will be without defenseman Ladislav Smid and forward Brian McGrattan, who have undisclosed injuries. Forward Mike Cammalleri (concussion) has missed the past six games but is skating again. Forward Curtis Glencross (ankle) is on IR, and forward Paul Byron (lower body) is day-to-day.

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