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Game 24: Nashville @ Calgary – Catching Fire


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Photo Credit: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

The Predators have broken their losing streak with a win against Edmonton, a team that had the Predators number in the first two games against. Nashville plays Calgary tonight on the end of a back-to-back. Last season, Calgary had the Predators number the entire year but this season, in the first meeting, the Predators blanked the Flames with a 2-0 win.

Calgary is coming off a sterling win over Minnesota that broke their losing streak of 3 games. The month of November has not been kind to the Flames and their record of 5-8-0 is evidence that Calgary is looking to pad the win column in December.

But it’s not December yet…

This Year’s Series: 1-0-0 (0-0-0 Home, 1-0-0 Away)

This Season’s Video Recaps:
Game 1 – October 22nd, 2011:

Looking at the Flames: After losing three straight to Central Division opponents Columbus, Detroit and St. Louis, Calgary finally exacted some revenge against their own division rivals, the Northwest-leading Minnesota Wild, winning 5-2.

It’s been a shaky season so far for the Flames having a 9-12-1 record but they can strike back at the most opportune times and still challenge any team with the multitude of talent at their disposal.

Looking at the Predators: It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Predators since losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets on home ice, they have gone 0-3-1. As the fans yell on home ice and scream at their t.v. to “shoot the puck,” it was finally rewarded last night in the 2-1 victory over Edmonton. The Predators out shot their opponent for only the third time this year and came away with a much needed win.

For the Flames to win: The players, especially the forward core and top two defenseman, have to step up. It’s an overrated stat, but the top four point producers on the Flames are a combined -19 and Bouwmeester and Giordano are a combined -8 on the year.

These key contributors have to find a way to keep up their point production without sacrificing defensive responsibility. They can’t rely on Kiprusoff to pull games out for them every time (sound familiar?) and they need to start playing that way from their captain Jarome Iginla (-8) down through the ranks.

For the Predators to win: Continue where they left off last night with 31 shots on goal. This is something that should be tattooed on the forehead of all Predators because more often than not, shots on goal are a very good thing. Although the score didn’t paint the whole picture, the Predators last night against Edmonton had a plethora of scoring chances and only the stellar play of Nikolai Khabibulin saved that game from being a rout.

The line combinations were very different last night, and maybe that switch is something to keep going for the time being. Craig Smith seems to produce no matter what line he is on and with Tootoo and Spaling providing grit and offensive presence, the other team’s focus is all over the place when the Predators can almost boast three offensively threatening lines.

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Stay HardCore, friends