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Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames Preview: Finding a Fire Extinguisher

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The Preds hope to extinguish the Flames tonight in Calgary.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators

After a horrible start to the game against Vancouver, Nashville found itself with a loss on Thursday evening. Pekka Rinne was mercifully pulled from the game. Colton Sissons found the back of the net for his first goal of the season, but there was too little effort to get Nashville in the game. Matt Irwin also found the back of the net for his first goal. Ideally the rest of the team figures it out for tonight’s contest.

With the IR list featuring some big names, the bruised and battered Predators are trying to “get by.” However, they have the talent of Eeli Tolvanen, Craig Smith, and Ryan Johansen. These players absolutely have to step up in that “next man up” mentality.

Expect Juuse Saros to man the crease for Nashville tonight. He needs a solid game to bolster his numbers. His last few outings have been lackluster, and Rinne has appeared in 6 straight contests. Saros has a .889 Sv% and has won 7 of 10 game started. Since the Predators have faced Calgary twice so far, there should be plenty of tape for Saros to study in preparation for tonight’s game.

Calgary Flames

The Flames are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. They’re firing on all cylinders with a mostly healthy lineup. They shutout the Minnesota Wild earlier this week on two goals from Elias Lindholm.

Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau leads the Flames in points with 37 (12 goals, 25 assists). He’s followed closely by Sean Monahan with 33 (17 goals, 16 assists) and Lindholm with 32 (15 goals, 17 assists). Lindholm has had an excellent season since being traded from Carolina at the NHL Draft.

Matthew Tkachuk has 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) and wears an “A” for the Flames… because that was totally expected. Captain Mark Giordano leads Flames defensemen with 29 points (3 goals, 26 assists) and is 5th in the NHL in defensemen point rankings.

While Mike Smith has a less-than-stellar .892 Sv%, he has won his last five starts and is playing some solid hockey. Backup Dave Rittich has a .919 Sv%.

And then there’s this from Thursday’s tilt against the Wild:

Memories and Feelings

-I don’t know about you, but I was pretty upset when Calgary beat the Predators on opening night. The Preds turned around and defeated the Flames a few days later in Calgary. Let’s do that again!!

-Please come home without any additional injuries, boys.

-Remember the method for using a fire extinguisher: Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep. The Predators should use this method tonight. 1. Pull the trigger on shots. 2. Aim the shots away from the goalie but in the net. 3. Squeeze your butts when blocking shots. 4. Sweep the puck out of the Nashville blue paint.

Reasons to Watch

-It’s really late but maybe we can bring some of that Titans luck to the Preds tonight?

Tonight’s Drink of Choice

-Espresso shots.

Tonight’s Theme Song

“Winter White Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes. Also, the Pentatonix version of this is fantastic.

Flames Social Media

-@NHLFlames

-@MatchsticksCGY : The Flames’ SB Nation site is Matchsticks and Gasoline.

How to Watch

Puck drop is at the ridiculously late hour of 9:00 Central. FS-TN has the broadcast and 102.5 The Game has the radio call.