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Flames look to get hot against struggling Preds

by Mike G. Morreale
PREDATORS (2-3-1) at FLAMES (2-3-1)
TV: FS-Tennessee, SNET-West (HD)

Season Series: Calgary swept the four-game series last season, scoring a 3-2 victory in the final meeting on March 6 when Curtis Glencross snapped a 2-2 tie 10:23 into the third period. Miikka Kiprusoff made 21 saves in the victory.
Big story: Maybe this is the year Predators goalie Pekka Rinne finally notches a victory against the Flames. Despite his gaudy statistics over three full seasons in the League, Rinne has never beaten the Flames -- going 0-4-2 in six starts. He is currently 2-3-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in six appearances. Rinne was yanked in favor of Anders Lindback on Thursday after allowing four goals in the first period of a 5-1 loss in Vancouver.
Team Scope:

Predators: After opening the season with back-to-back victories over Columbus and St. Louis, Nashville has dropped four straight, including the loss to the Canucks on Thursday. The Preds have also been outshot in all six games this season, yielding 34 shots per game, the second-worst total in the league behind Tampa Bay (34.3). The club has averaged a league-low 23.5 shots -- something coach Barry Trotz hopes is rectified against the Flames.
Flames: Despite the fact captain Jarome Iginla was announced the game's first star after notching a goal and an assist, the Flames dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the New York Rangers on Thursday. Second-year Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh scored with 1.4 seconds left in the extra period to give the visitors the win. It marked New York's first win at the Scotiabank Saddledome since Nov. 14, 2002. Not only did Calgary fail to capitalize on back-to-back power plays midway through the second period when the game was knotted at 2-2, but the team didn't generate a shot on goal during the advantages. The Flames rank ninth in the league on the power play with a 19-percent efficiency. 
Who's hot: Predators left wing Sergei Kostitsyn saw his point-scoring streak end at five games in the loss to Vancouver on Thursday. He has 1 goal and 4 assists in six contests.
Injury report:
The Predators are without forward Mike Fisher (shoulder) and defenseman Francis Bouillon (concussion). Forwards Martin Erat (upper body) is listed day-to-day and Cal O'Reilly (undisclosed) is questionable. … For Calgary, defenseman Brett Carson (back) and forward Mikael Backlund (finger) are skating with the team, but neither player is close to returning.
Stat pack: Iginla has better than a point-per-game average against seven NHL teams, including Columbus, Los Angeles, Nashville, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg and the New York Rangers. He has 28 goals and 52 points in 44 career games against the Predators.
Puck drop:
Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has netted just 8 goals in his first two-plus seasons in Calgary after coming off consecutive 15-goal campaigns for the Florida Panthers. Bouwmeester has a goal and an assist in six games this season.
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