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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 21st (All times Eastern)

Nashville Predators (29-31-10) at Calgary Flames (28-34-7), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - With losses in three straight and seven of their last 10 games, the Nashville Predators have seriously damaged their already slim playoff chances.

The Predators hope to boost their fading postseason hopes when they visit the Calgary Flames for Friday's clash at the Saddledome.

Calgary is one of only two teams behind the Predators in the Western Conference standings. With only 12 games left in its regular-season schedule, Nashville is 11 points behind Phoenix for the last wild card berth in the West.

The Flames, who trail Nashville by five points in the standings, can win the season series against the Preds on Friday. Nashville earned a 4-2 home win on Jan. 14, but Calgary responded 10 days later with a 5-4 shootout victory at the Saddledome.

Nashville has won six of nine in the series overall, but the Flames have claimed three straight and five of the last six encounters in Calgary.

With an average of 2.34 goals per game, the Predators' offense has been a sore spot for the club all season long. The problem has been magnified of late, as Nashville has been held to one goal or less in seven of its past 10 games.

The Preds have notched a total of two goals during their current three-game slide and the club was shut out Wednesday night in Vancouver, dropping a 2-0 decision against the Canucks. That setback came one day after Nashville opened a four-game road trip with a 5-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, the bottom team in the Western Conference.

Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack of the Canucks made 30 saves to frustrate the Predators on Wednesday. Nashville failed to score despite having four power- play opportunities, including two in the third period.

Carter Hutton turned aside 20-of-22 shots for the Predators to take a tough- luck loss.

"We've got to get some goals for our goaltender," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Carter Hutton had a good game for us. We need some production from our forwards. We've got virtually zero. If our defense aren't scoring, we're not scoring it seems like."

Nashville lost forward Paul Gaustad to an upper-body injury on Wednesday and he expects to miss tonight's contest. Gaustad has nine goals and seven assists in 70 games this season.

The Preds recalled Calle Jarnkrok from the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL and the forward is set to make his NHL debut on Friday. Jarnkrok was acquired from Detroit before the trade deadline in the deal that sent David Legwand to the Red Wings. The 22-year-old Swede has compiled 43 points (18 goals, 25 assists) in 62 total AHL games with Milwaukee and the Grand Rapids Griffins this season.

Nashville, which will complete its current swing this Sunday in Chicago, is 14-14-6 as the road team this season.

Although the Flames are headed for a fifth straight year out of the playoffs, the club has played solid hockey of late, picking up their third win in four games with Tuesday's home victory over Buffalo.

Mike Cammalleri and Paul Byron scored in the third period to help the Flames earn the 3-1 decision, while Calgary's Joni Ortio, in his eighth NHL start, outdueled Buffalo's Nathan Lieuwen. Ortio gave up one goal on four shots in the first period -- Drew Stafford's wraparound after a Calgary turnover behind the net -- and only needed to record 13 saves for the win.

Joe Colborne scored the other goal for the Flames in the second period.

"The boys regrouped between the first and second and we skated so much better. We saw our team working and making great plays," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said.

The win pushed Calgary's record on home ice this season to 16-16-3. The Flames will visit Edmonton on Saturday before returning to the Saddledome for a three-game homestand against San Jose, Anaheim and the New York Rangers.

03/21 10:47:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
3rd
WISC 24
MD 0
 
3rd
SMU 7
MEM 34
 
3rd
ILL 21
MINN 10
 
3rd
RICE 17
UNT 21
 
3rd
NEB 28
RUTG 10
 
3rd
KST 13
TEX 0
 
3rd
ARK 38
UAB 0
 
Half
UVA 24
UNC 21
 
2nd
EMICH 7
NILL 14
 
2nd
NAVY 14
SJST 10
 
1st
BST 3
AKR 0
 
1st
GASTATE 0
GASO 0
 
1st
TOL 0
UMASS 0
 
1st
WMICH 0
OHIO 0
 
1st
COL 0
UCLA 0
 
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
1st
NCCU 0
SAVST 0