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Nashville Predators vs Calgary Flames Preview: The Prodigal Goon Returns

Brian McGrattan has been scoring goals since returning to Calgary.
Brian McGrattan has been scoring goals since returning to Calgary.
Derek Leung

The Stats

Calgary Flames Nashville Predators
Record 19-22-4 24th 15-21-9 27th
GF/Game 2.73 11th 2.27 29th
GA/Game 3.24 29th 2.71 18th
5-on-5 SF/60 27.6 18th 25.5 29th
5-on-5 SA/60 29.5 18th 26.9 6th
Fenwick Close 48.94 18th 45.81 25th
5-on-5 Save % .891 30th .916 17th
5-on-4 GF/60 7.5 8th 5.8 17th
# of PP's/Gm 3.33 17th 2.93 27th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.1 15th 8.1 27th
# of PK's/Gm 3.13 9th 2.93 3rd

The Predators are 1-1 against Calgary this season, having lost 6-3 in a March 15 road game, followed by a 5-3 win at Bridgestone Arena on March 21. While mediocre in most areas of the game, the Flames have been done in by soft goaltending this year.

Calgary Flames

This will mark the fourth consecutive season in which Calgary will miss the playoffs, a few more years of that and this era may become known as the Feaster Famine up in Alberta. For quite a while Flames fans wondered whether a Jarome Iginla trade might kick off a fundamental rebuild of the organization, but as events turned out a few weeks ago, the return on players like Iginla, forward Blake Comeau and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was less than expected.

Consider the way their captain Iginla steered his trade to Pittsburgh for a relatively paltry return, and by comparison, Predators fans should watch Filip Forsberg in action and erect a statue to Martin Erat in gratitude.

After a long run as the Flames' starting goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff's apparent finale in Calgary is making for a big disappointment, as he's posted some of the worst numbers of his career. This season marks the first time he's played more than five games without recording a shutout... might he get one against the goal-starved Preds?

Miikka Kiprusoff

#34 / Goalie / Calgary Flames



Oct 26, 1976

2012 - Miikka Kiprusoff 23 1285 8 13 2 73 3.41 618 545 .882 0

The real threat, however, is goal-scoring sensation Brian McGrattan (yup, you read that right). The former Nashville mauler has three goals in 17 games for Calgary, matching what he had produced in all of his previous 214 NHL appearances.

Big Ern has as many goals as Sergei Kostitsyn and Craig Smith.

Nashville Predators

With a bit of luck, we'll get a last look at Mike Fisher on home ice tonight, but not Patric Hornqvist or Taylor Beck, who have both been felled by Upper Body Injuries.

There is potential for one nice moment tonight, as David Legwand sits on 199 career regular season goals heading into this game. Hitting the #200 milestone in front of the home crowd would underscore Legwand's place as the Predators' career scoring leader, a position which is now all the more secure in light of the Erat trade.

David Legwand

#11 / Center / Nashville Predators



Aug 17, 1980

2012 - David Legwand 45 11 12 23 -4 20 2 0 2 74 14.9

Remember, tonight is Fan Appreciation Night, so if you're going, make sure to get there on time and give it your all for our last dose of hockey at Bridgestone Arena until the fall...