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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
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
 
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
 
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
 
4th
MIA 97
WAS 99
 
4th
MEM 74
CHI 82
 
4th
SAN 78
POR 69
 
2nd
DEN 53
LAC 37
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
 
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
 
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
 
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
2nd
MTST 68
CHAT 58
 
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
2nd
MINN 85
SEAT 48
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
2nd
SILL 52
NO 54
 
Half
MARQ 40
ALAAM 20
 
Half
TTU 35
ARKPB 26
 
Half
DEN 37
COLST 34
 
Half
CREI 39
TXPA 27
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
 
3rd
OTT 5
ANA 2
 
3rd
DET 1
NYI 2
 
3rd
WIN 2
BOS 1
 
1st Intermission
CAL 0
DAL 0