10:09 pm
December 8

Predators @ Flames

Who will WIN this matchup?

Nashville Predators (19-9-1)

@ Calgary Flames (18-9-2)


Starting Goalies:

Juuse Saros (NSH): Confirmed

Mike Smith (CGY): Confirmed


Current odds:

Nashville Predators: (+115)

Calgary Flames: (-135)


 The Calgary Flames continue to be among the biggest surprises in the NHL and will be tested when they put their four-game winning streak on the line against the visiting Nashville Predators on Saturday in a battle of first-place teams. The Flames, who lead the Pacific Division, are coming off a 2-0 victory over Minnesota on Thursday and are 8-1-1 in its last 10 games while goaltender Mike Smith has shrugged off an early season slump with five straight victories.

• The Predators are coming off a 5-3 loss at Vancouver on Thursday, falling into a tie with Colorado for Central Division supremacy. Nashville continues to play without four key players – P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg, Kyle Turris and Viktor Arvidsson – with coach Peter Laviolette assuring reporters: “You’re not going to see anybody in Calgary.” The Predators and Flames split their first two of three meetings this season while the road team has won the last five encounters as Kevin Fiala recorded a goal and an assist in Nashville’s 5-3 victory Oct. 19, and Sean Monahan scored twice and Smith stopped 43 shots in Calgary’s 3-0 win Oct. 9.

• Forsberg (team-high 14 goals, 22 points) is expected to miss at least three weeks – and perhaps as many as five – with a hand injury but general manager David Poile told 102.5-FM this week that two of the four injured players could return soon after the road trip ends Saturday. Pekka Rinne (12-5-1, .930 save percentage), who leads the league in goals-against average (1.96), was pulled after allowing four goals on 25 shots in the first two periods Thursday with Laviolette telling reporters: “Pekka was great. How many breakaways and 2-on-1s and 3-on-1s can you see before one of them is going to go in? So it’s 100 percent on us.” Ryan Hartman scored Thursday, giving him eight goals – the most among active Nashville players.

• Monahan (team-high 17 goals, 33 points) has eight goals in his last 10 contests – a stretch in which Calgary has outscored its opponents 44-23 – while Johnny Gaudreau (club-most 37 points) has four goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak and 18 points (six goals) in his last 10. Elias Lindholm (15 goals, 32 points), who scored in each game versus Nashville this season, recorded two goals Thursday and has four with five assists during a five-game point streak. Mikael Backlund (five goals, 17 points) left Thursday’s game after taking a big hit from Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba and could “be out for a while,” according to Sportsnet.

• Calgary was 0-for-2 on the power play Thursday after going 8-for-23 in its previous five games.

• Nashville D Matt Irvin ended a 60-game scoring drought Thursday – playoffs included.

• Calgary and Colorado lead the league in third-period goals with 44 apiece.

StreakSmarter Pick
Calgary Flames