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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 24th (All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (23-22-7) at Calgary Flames (17-27-7), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - After snapping the longest home losing streak in franchise history, the Calgary Flames will try to create some momentum on their current residency as they tangle with the Nashville Predators on Friday night.
The Flames snapped a seven-game skid as the hosting club on Wednesday, holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. Calgary had been outscored 22-4 and shut out four times over its home skid, but Matt Stajan's goal late in the second period held up as the winner versus the Coyotes.
Rookie Sean Monahan netted his team-leading 14th goal, Lance Bouma also scored and Karri Ramo made 30 saves as the Flames snapped a four-game overall slide with their first win at home since Dec. 23 versus St. Louis.
"We needed that," said Stajan, who signed a four-year, $14 million contract extension on Monday. "We've been fighting it here on home ice, there's no secret to that. We got some timely goals and Ramo did a good job there. And as a team, we didn't give up much. Most of the shots were from the outside. We can start building off that one."
The Flames play the second contest of their five-game homestand tonight and are expected to give Ramo the start again. He faced the Predators for the first time in his career on Jan. 14, giving up four goals on 34 shots in a 4-2 road loss.
Lee Stempniak and Mikael Backlund had the goals in a losing effort, with Jiri Hudler assisting on both. Ryan Ellis and Craig Smith scored within the first 2:40 of the third period for the Predators, who won their third straight over the Flames.
Carter Hutton made 22 saves for Nashville in the rookie's first ever encounter with Calgary.
The Preds have lost two straight, four of five and eight of their last 12 in Calgary, but are coming off Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks that was Nashville's first this season when trailing after two periods.
The Predators were 0-21-2 in games when they trailed after 40 minutes, but Nick Spaling assisted on Smith's tying goal before netting the game-winner at the 12:38 mark of the frame.
Spaling fed Smith with a behind-the-net pass 3:28 into the third period and put home his winner by deflecting a shot by rookie defenseman Seth Jones' point shot.
"We fell behind early, but it was a good job of staying with it and we managed to come back," Spaling said.
Nashville claimed the opener of a four-game road trip and has won two straight as well as four of its last five games. The club last won three in a row from Dec. 10-14.
Last night featured the Predators debut of defenseman Michael Del Zotto, acquired from the New York Rangers in a trade a day earlier for blueliner Kevin Klein.
Del Zotto was paired with Jones and logged 13:15 of ice time, though the offensive-minded defender did not see power play time.
Though Hutton won his fourth straight start, yielding seven goals in that span, the Predators could still opt to give Devan Dubnyk his second start in a Nashville uniform tonight.
Acquired earlier this month from Edmonton, Dubnyk yielded five goals on 29 shots on Jan. 18 in a loss to Colorado in his Nashville debut.
However, Dubnyk is 6-4-2 with a 2.27 goals against average in his career versus the Flames, shutting them out with 27 saves when he faced them on Dec. 27 with the Oilers.
01/24 10:22:34 ET
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