SUN Hockey Pool

Flames host key matchup with Predators

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:27 AM ET

An important battle in the Western Conference playoff race is on tap this evening in Calgary, as the Flames host the Nashville Predators at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

With 77 points, the Flames are currently tied with Dallas for the sixth seed in the West standings. They are also just two points ahead of Nashville, which is tied with Anaheim for the conference's ninth seed. The Ducks also play tonight against Vancouver.

Calgary has won three of its last four games and is coming off Friday's home victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Curtis Glencross had a goal and two assists as the Flames took a 4-3 regulation decision at the Saddledome.

Rene Bourque and Olli Jokinen each had a goal and an assist while Jarome Iginla also scored for the Flames.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 37 shots for Calgary, which has a 6-2-1 record over its last nine games.

"Through this whole process, we've been getting contributions from everyone and different times different guys have stepped up," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter.

Flames forwards Mikael Backlund (flu) and Brendan Morrison (left knee) sat out Friday's game and both players are questionable for today's tilt.

Calgary has won four of its last six home tests and is capping a brief two- game residency tonight. The Flames are 20-10-4 as the home team this season.

The Predators won for the second time in three games Thursday night in Vancouver. Nashville has gained a point in three straight games (2-0-1) after losing its previous four contests in regulation.

Pekka Rinne made 29 saves to notch his fifth shutout of the season in Friday's 3-0 win over the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

"It feels good to get the shutout in this building against one of the league's toughest teams," Rinne said. "I'm not going to lie, it feels good."

Blake Geoffrion and Patric Hornqvist both tallied for the Predators, who won for the second time in seven games. David Legwand added an empty-netter in the win.

Rinne is expected to start for the 20th time in 21 games tonight. He has not fared well in six career games against Calgary, going 0-3-2 with a 3.17 goals- against average versus the Flames.

The Predators are 18-16-2 as the guest this year and are playing the third test of a four-game road trip tonight. Nashville had lost three straight on the road before Friday's win over the Canucks.

Calgary has won all three of its meetings with the Preds this season and can sweep the series tonight. The Flames have taken four of five and nine of 11 overall from Nashville and the Predators have lost three of their last five at the Saddledome.


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