Flames-Predators Preview

The Associated Press

Little has gone right for the Nashville Predators over the last month. The Calgary Flames are the one team that's had it worse.

The Predators look to avoid a seventh loss in eight games Tuesday night as they wrap up a five-game homestand against the punchless Flames, who have lost their last four visits to Nashville.

The Predators (19-21-7) are in the midst of their third skid of at least three games since Dec. 17, a 3-7-4 stretch in which they've allowed 3.36 goals per game.

Nashville fell to 1-2-1 on a homestand it hoped would allow it to start climbing back into playoff position with Sunday's 4-0 loss to Minnesota.

''They were right there in front of us in the standings and we needed tonight, but we didn't get it,'' captain Shea Weber said. ''Now we have to move forward and get ready for Calgary.''

The Flames (16-24-6) are the only team that's recorded fewer points since Dec. 17 than Nashville - a 3-9-1 stretch - but they picked up two Monday. Coming into Carolina having scored just six times while losing seven of eight, Calgary got goals from Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan while Karri Ramo made 23 saves to record his first career shutout in a 2-0 victory.

The Flames hadn't shut anyone out since Feb. 18, 2012, allowing at least one goal in 116 consecutive games.

"It was probably our best team effort of the season," coach Bob Hartley said. "We had quite a good first period, and I felt we pressured them and gained the momentum. Carolina came hard at us, and we did a great job."

Backlund's second-period goal came with the man advantage - a rarity for the Flames, who had gone 2 for 27 (7.4 percent) on the power play in their previous eight games.

Calgary will now try to win two in a row for the first time since Dec. 12-14, but its recent history in Nashville hasn't been very good. The Flames have allowed a total of 16 goals in losing their last four at Bridgestone Arena, and they're just 1 for 16 on the power play in their last seven trips to the Music City.

The Predators have killed 14 of their opponents' 16 power plays since the calendar turned to 2014.

Nashville hasn't scored in eight opportunities with the man advantage on this homestand, but it would love to get the first goal on Tuesday. The Predators are 3-19-3 when allowing the first goal, by far the worst winning percentage in the league in that scenario.

If either team finds itself trailing after two periods, don't count on a comeback. Calgary is 1-20-2 when down after 40 minutes, while Nashville is 0-20-2 - the only team in the league without a come-from-behind victory after the second intermission.

Calgary hasn't won road games on back-to-back days since taking down Ottawa and Toronto on Jan. 14 and 15, 2011.

What to Read Next