Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Predators
RIGHT AT HOME AT THE DOME
After a rough start at home that saw them win one of five games, the Flames have turned things around inside the confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome. They have won five consecutive games on home ice, outscoring their opponents 21-10.
"It's very important that you're strong at home," Mikael Backlund stressed. "Teams coming in (think) it's going to be a tough night. You don't want teams coming in here thinking it's going to be easy."
There hasn't been one recipe for success on home ice but one thing that has been apparent is the team's compete level in the third period. If they have the lead heading into the final frame, they haven't sat back. They have kept pushing, striving to extend their lead and keep a stranglehold on the opposition.
"We didn't do a good enough job early in the season, getting ahead when we had all of those home games," rearguard Chris Butler said. "It felt like we owed a lot to the people who come out every night, to try to play well at home.
"I know it sounds a bit cliche but you have to win home games."
Their ability to turn things around at the Dome has given them a renewed sense of confidence as well.
"We were pretty down coming after that road trip," Butler said. "It meant a lot to us to win that game the other night. Hopefully we can now refocus and readjust our game plan a little bit, focus on a Nashville team tonight."
GRINDING IT OUT
The Flames and the Predators are very similar situations at the moment. Nashville is sitting outside of the playoff picture but are still in the race, sitting in tenth place in the Western Conference and just one point out of eighth. They fell to the Canucks last night in Vancouver and the Flames know they will be facing a desperate team tonight.
"I think you'll see a real workman-like game," Butler mused. "Two teams that play a really simple style. Nashville is a team that kind of grinds you out. They chip a lot of pucks in, they forecheck and that's where they get their success from."
Both of Nashville's netminders had a rough night in Vancouver with Pekka Rinne allowing four goals on 12 shots and Chris Mason surrendering two goals on nine shots. At this point, it is unclear which netminder the Preds will go with tonight but that isn't a concern for the Flames.
"Don't know who they're going to starting today in goal after last night," Curtis Glencross said "But they've got two goaltenders that are pretty solid back there. With us, we've got to worry about our part of the game."
QUOTE OF THE DAY
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Jay Bouwmeester needs 2 points for 300.
Cory Sarich needs 4 points for 150 and 4 games for 900.
Matt Stajan needs 5 assists for 200.
Dennis Wideman needs 6 assists for 200.
Lee Stempniak needs 7 points for 300.
Jarome Iginla needs 8 points for 1100.
Jiri Hudler needs 9 goals for 100.