Through 14 games, the Calgary Flames (6-6-2, 14 points) are an okay hockey team. But they have yet to really put together a strong enough game to hang their hats on and proclaim “Hey, this is what this team can do!” They’ll try to put together a strong 60 minutes once again when they visit the Nashville Predators (8-3-1, 17 points), a team that’s had a splendid start to their 2019-20 season.

The puck drops at 6 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Bennett
Lucic – Jankowski – Quine

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Coming off another strong effort against Carolina, David Rittich makes his 12th start of the season. He’s backed up by Cam Talbot, who’s probably almost finished reading War and Peace on the bench at this point. The lines have been reset to their defaults, which means the scratches are Michael Stone and Tobias Rieder for this evening.

See if you can find a pattern here:

  • The Flames enter the third period against Florida tied 2-2. They got a 4-2 lead, then blew it and had to rally back to win in overtime.
  • The Flames enter the third period against Winnipeg up 1-0. They blew the lead and lost in overtime.
  • The Flames enter the third period against Carolina up 1-0. They blew the lead and lost 2-1.

The Flames had good enough starts to give themselves a chance to have a smooth path to victory, but just couldn’t finish things off properly. They’ll need to be better against a strong Predators team.

The Predators

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Jarnkrok – Johansen – Arvidsson
Forsberg – Duchene – Granlund
Grimaldi – Bonino – Smith
Sissons – Turris – Watson

Josi – Ellis
Ekholm – Fabbro
Hamhuis – Irwin

Pekke Rinne starts for the Predators, backed up by Juuse Saros. Their healthy extras are Yannick Weber and Miikka Salomaki.

Nashville is riding a four game winning streak – they shut out Chicago 3-0 on Tuesday – and have points in their last five games. There’s no magical formula to what’s going on for them, they just play a smart, structured game and allow their talented players the space for creativity.

The Numbers

Flames Predators
Wins 6 8
Points 14 17
Adjusted Corsi 50.7% 51.4%
Power Play 17.8% 19.6%
Penalty Kill 86.8% 73.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and F Austin Czarnik (lower body).

The Predators are missing F Filip Forsberg (lower body).

When Last We Met

The Flames faced Nashville three times in 2018-19, winning twice. Their last meeting was Dec. 8 in Calgary, with the Flames winning 5-2.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: