120Flames score on Nashville
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports

FGD 7: A Friday night tussle with the Predators (7pm MT, SN360)

Just 48 hours of playing one of their best games of the season against a strong team, the Calgary Flames (4-2-0, 8 points) get another big test in the form of the Nashville Predators (5-1-0, 10 points). The Flames are the only team to beat Nashville so far this season.

The action starts at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Hathaway – Ryan – Dube

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson

Valimaki – Stone

Mike Smith makes his sixth start of the season after a strong game against Boston, he’s backed up by David Rittich. The scratches tonight are Dalton Prout and Anthony Peluso. With Dillon Dube returning from a one game absence with a lower body injury, that bumps Austin Czarnik to the sidelines. Despite getting waffled at the end of Wednesday’s game, Johnny Gaudreau is back and perfectly fine and primed to do cool hockey things (as the kids say).

Following Wednesday’s big 5-2 win over Boston, head coach Bill Peters didn’t mince his words; despite their successes, they have a lot of work to do in some key areas. The Flames need to work on their play in their own end and they need to be better on the power play. But so far, they’ve managed to work around their shortcomings and put together a good start to the season.

The Predators

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Forsberg – Johansen – Arvidsson
Fiala – Turris – Smith
Jarnkrok – Bonino – Hartman
Rinaldo – Sissons – Salomaki

Josi – Ellis
Ekholm – Subban
Hamhuis – Weber

Pekka Rinne starts for Nashville, backed up by Juuse Saros. The projected scratches are Anthony Bitetto, Matt Irwin and Frederick Gaudreau.

The Predators have lost once. That loss was at home last week to the Flames, where they were shut out 3-0 and generally out-played. Since that setback, they’ve beat Winnipeg 3-0, the Islanders 5-2 and Minnesota 4-2. In other words, they’ve bounced back nicely and will undoubtedly be motivated to avenge the one blemish on their otherwise sterling record.

In other words, expect tonight’s game to be really, really fun and competitive.

The Numbers

Wins 4 5
Points 8 10
Corsi Close 58.4% 51.7%
Power Play 17.2% 10.0%
Penalty Kill 83.3% 75.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are missing D Travis Hamonic (facial fracture). Dillon Dube is returning after missing a game with a lower body injury.

The Predators are healthy.

History Lesson

This is the second of three meetings between Calgary and Nashville this season; the Flames won the first by a 3-0 score last week. They’ll meet again in Calgary on Dec. 8 to close out the season series.

Know Thy Enemy

Your Predators Twitter follows for tonight: