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Riding a two-game losing skid, the Calgary Flames (5-3-0, 10 points) will try to bust out of their slump when they host the Nashville Predators (3-6-1, 7 points) on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome! The Predators have lost their last two, as well, and are trying to right their ship in a very competitive Central Division.
The battle begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Kadri – Mangiapane
Lucic – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Backlund – Coleman
Lewis – Rooney – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Mackey – Stone
Here’s what we know (primarily because Pat Steinberg is kind enough to tweet things): Jacob Markstrom likely starts, backed up by Dan Vladar. Adam Ruzicka skated late after morning skate, so he’s probably out (and Kevin Rooney’s probably back in). On Wednesday, the Flames skated with (a) their new lines and (b) without Chris Tanev, who was also absent on Thursday morning. Connor Mackey could be in, or it could be precautionary for Tanev and he might end up playing. We’ll find out at warm-ups!
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Update: No Tanev tonight. Upper-body injury, per club.
The Flames have generally played well in the last few games, and actually held leads early in the third period in each of their last two games. That’s good! But they found ways to lose against Edmonton and Seattle, making too many poor decisions with the puck and generally getting in their own way at key times. The bones of their game have been pretty good – they have yet to play a flat-out bad hockey game – but the details of their game, at times, have been lacking and need cleaning up.
As usual, keep your eye on good hockey player Nazem Kadri, who’s been superb since joining the Flames.

The Predators

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Forsberg – Granlund – Duchene
Niederreiter – Johansen – Sanford
Trenin – Sissons – Jeannot
Smith – Jankowski – McCarron
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Josi – Gross
Ekholm – Carrier
McDonagh – Lauzon
Kevin Lankinen starts for Nashville, backed up by Juuse Saros. Their projected extras are Jordan Gross, Zach Sanford, and the recently recalled Mark Jankowski. However…
Update: Glass, Fabbro and Tolvanen are out for Nashville; Gross, Sanford and Jankowski are all in.
Nashville lost 7-4 to Edmonton on Tuesday to begin their five-game western swing that also sees them play Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle and Colorado before returning home. They’ll be smarting after playing a bit too loose against a really offensively-potent Oilers club, and so expect them to be a bit tighter in terms of their team structure on Thursday.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Predators are without Mark Borowiecki.

The numbers

Flames
Predators
5
Wins
3
10 (.625)
Points (%)
7 (350)
54.8
xGF%
50.1
23.3
PP%
13.2
82.4
PK%
82.1

Head to head

This is the first of three meetings between these clubs this season. The Flames won just once in three meetings with the Predators in 2021-22, but all three games went past regulation: the Flames won 5-4 in overtime, but lost 3-2 twice (once in overtime and once in a shootout).

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Predators Twitter: