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Game Day: Preds vs. Flames

by Thomas Willis & Brooks Bratten / Nashville Predators

(23-18-8) Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames (21-23-3)
  8:30 P.M. CT | Scotiabank Saddledome | #NSHvsCGY
TV: FS-TN | Radio: 102.5 The Game | Pregame: 8 P.M. (CT)

The Nashville Predators finish off their Western Canada road swing and look to complete a perfect trip tonight, as they head into Calgary for a date with the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Tonight’s contest is the final game for the Predators before the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend comes to Nashville.

The Preds are 3-0-0 on the excursion thus far, including a 2-1 victory over Vancouver last night. Nashville also topped Winnipeg and Edmonton on the trip by identical 4-1 scores. Nashville's win in Vancouver last night gives the team its first three-game winning streak since Oct. 17-22. Calgary has dropped their last two decisions, including a 2-1 loss to Dallas on Monday.

Tonight's contest against the Flames features three of the Top Five shot blockers in the NHL. Preds defenseman Roman Josi is tied for third in the NHL with 122 blocked shots, while Kris Russell from Calgary is first with 154 and Mark Giordano is fifth with 120.

Preds blueliner Mattias Ekholm has notched a point in four-straight contests, recording five points in that span (2g-3a). The four-game streak ties a career high, previously set from Oct. 26-Nov. 6, 2013, when he had four assists in four games. Ekholm's 20 points on the season (7g-13a) are a career high (posted 18 points last season) and his seven goals are tied for his most in a single season. The team is undefeated in regulation this season (5-0-1) when he scores a goal and 10-3-1 when he notches a point.

Josi is tops on the Preds in scoring with 34 points, including 10 goals, followed by Filip Forsberg with 31 points. James Neal, who scored the game winner Tuesday night in Vancouver, leads the club with 18 goals on the season, followed by Forsberg who has 14 tallies. Captain Shea Weber has 11 goals and 30 points from the blue line; Mike Ribeiro has 24 assists and 29 points on the season. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is 3-0-0 for the Preds on the current road trip with a 1.00 goals-against average. Rinne is 19-15-7 on the season; backup netminder Carter Hutton is 4-2-1.

Ryan Johansen is on a two-game point streak versus the Flames (1g-1a) and Ribeiro has a point in three of his last four games against Calgary (1g-2a).

Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames in goals and points on the season with 20 and 46, respectively. Calgary Captain Mark Giordano is second in points with 30, including 10 goals from the blue line. Sean Monahan has 14 goals on the campaign; Sam Bennett has tallied on 13 occasions. Goaltender Karri Ramo is 16-16-1 between the pipes, while Jonas Hiller is 5-5-1.
All time, Nashville holds a 29-22-12 record all-time vs. Calgary 29-22-12. The Flames hold a 12-11-7 record against Nashville at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Predators Game Day Video:

What to Watch for: Pete and Chris Breakdown

Projected Lineups:

Nashville Predators:

Mike Ribeiro Ryan Johansen James Neal
Filip Forsberg Mike Fisher Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki Calle Jarnkrok Austin Watson
Eric Nystrom Paul Gaustad Cody Bass
Roman Josi Shea Weber
Barret Jackman Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm Petter Granberg


Goaltenders: The Preds have not annouced a starting goaltender for tonight's game yet. Netminder Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Extra: (D) Anthony Bitetto, (F) Gabriel Bourque (IR; upper-body), (F) Kevin Fiala, (F) Colin Wilson (IR; lower-body)

Calgary Flames:

Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan David Jones
Sam Bennett Mikael Backlund Michael Frolik
Mason Raymond Markus Granlund Jiri Hudler
Lance Bouma Josh Jooris Matt Stajan
Mark Giordano TJ Brodie
Kris Russell Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Wideman Deryk Engelland


Goaltenders: Karri Ramo is the expected starter in net with Jonas Hiller serving as the backup.

Extra: (F) Michael Ferland, (F) Brandon Bollig, (F) Mason Raymond, (D) Ladislav Smid

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