The Nashville Predators didn’t come away with the results they wanted on their recent road trip, but they didn’t waste any time moving back into the win column in their return to Sommet Center.
Looking to build off of their best offensive effort of the season, the Predators play the second contest of a three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.
Nashville (3-3-0) posted a shootout win in Chicago on Oct. 13 before losing the final two contests of its three-game swing, capped by a 5-3 defeat at Columbus on Friday in which it allowed three first-period goals.
The Predators, though, struck first in their return home on Saturday, scoring three times in the opening period and finishing with a season high in goals as they salvaged a split of their home-and-home set against the Blue Jackets with a 6-3 victory.
“We wanted it,” forward Scott Nichol told the Predators’ official Web site. “It is our home building. We wanted to come out flying. And we have an identity if you are going to come into Nashville; it is going to be a tough game.”
Predators goaltender Dan Ellis made 23 saves Saturday. He has compiled a 2.01 goals-against average in winning both of his home starts, and went 11-6-2 with a 2.41 GAA in 22 games at Sommet Center last season.
Ellis looks to help the Predators open with three straight home wins for the first time since reeling off five in a row to start the 2005-06 season. That, however, could be difficult if they don’t improve their special teams play.
On Saturday, Nashville failed to convert any of its four power-play chances and fell to 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) in those situations this season. While the club killed off all four of its penalties on Saturday, it has allowed opponents to go 8-for-30 (26.7 percent) with the man advantage.
Captain Jarome Iginla scored on the power play and Matthew Lombardi notched the go-ahead goal to lead Calgary (2-3-1) past visiting Washington 2-1 on Tuesday - a victory that followed consecutive losses to rival Edmonton over the weekend.
Miikka Kiprusoff, who has compiled a 3.81 GAA in starting all of Calgary’s six games, turned aside 30 shots and helped the Flames kill a nine-minute Washington power play in the first period.
“That set the rest of the game up for us,” said Lombardi. “We were down 1-0, if we let those guys get a couple more goals, it’s a hard climb from there. But we really stuck together during that one, it was a big team effort.”
Kiprusoff is 3-1-1 with a 2.54 GAA in his last five games versus the Predators, while Ellis is 1-0-0 and has stopped 35 of 37 shots in two career matchups with the Flames.
Nashville is 10-2-1 in 13 meetings against Calgary since March 20, 2004, but the teams split the four-game series last season. J.P. Dumont - tied with Weber for the Predators’ lead this season with seven points - has seven goals and six assists in 17 career contests versus the Flames.
Blog Coverage from SB Nation
- Jersey Fouls: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez edition
- Lucic scores in return to Boston; Kings rout Bruins 9-2
- Boucher leads Devils over Oilers 2-1 on Brodeur's big night
- Klingberg gives Stars 4-3 win over Wild in OT
- Plekanec scores twice, Canadiens beat Lightning 4-2
- Short-handed Flames hold on for 4-3 win over Maple Leafs