Predators look to end four-game road skid against hot Flames
CALGARY, Alberta — The Nashville Predators are struggling on the road and they will try to get their act together Saturday to fix the problem.
The Predators have lost four straight away from home entering Saturday’s game against the surging Calgary Flames.
Nashville gave up four straight goals and couldn’t complete a comeback Thursday in a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s tough, but we’ll bounce back,” Nashville’s Colton Sissons told reporters in Vancouver. “We’ll be just fine.”
Calgary may be without captain Mark Giordano, who faced a disciplinary hearing Friday for a knee-on-knee hit with Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu on Thursday. The hit drew a minor penalty for tripping.
The Predators are 6-4 in their past 10 games and had been caught by the Flames and Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference through 29 games.
The Predators are hurting. Four of their mainstays are out with injuries and coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean on Thursday that they all will remain out for at least one more game.
“There’s nobody coming back tomorrow,” Laviolette said Thursday. “I don’t have the answer to that. You’re not going to see anybody in Calgary. Those guys are on the mend right now.”
Subban has missed the past 11 games with an undisclosed injury. Forsberg, the team’s leading scorer, was placed on injured reserve Dec. 1, also with an undisclosed injury. Arvidsson is out until January with a broken thumb and Turris went on IR on Nov. 25 with an undisclosed injury.
Calgary is waiting for Nashville after a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday that leaves the Flames 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.
Thursday’s game likely was costly for the Flames after second-line center Mikael Backlund was injured in the final minute with a possible concussion. He was leveled by Wild defensemen Matt Dumb with a stiff open ice shoulder check that didn’t sit well with the Flames.
Ryan Lomberg skated the length of ice and jumped Dumba. A recent call-up from the American Hockey league, Lomberg was handed a one-game suspension Friday for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of a game.
Coach Bill Peters drew a $10,000 fine for sending Lomberg on the ice for the purpose of instigating a fight.
Elias Lindholm scored his 14th and 15th goals for the Flames.
Mike Smith stopped 31 saves for this second shutout of the season and appears to have gotten back on track after a horrible start to his season that prompted calls for him to be dropped to No. 2 behind David Rittich.
“I think the guys have bailed me out a lot this year, so I think it’s nice to make some saves and contribute on the team’s success,” the 36-year-old Smith told reporters.
Lindholm was Calgary’s key acquisition in the summer, coming over from Peters’ former team, the Carolina Hurricanes, in the Dougie Hamilton trade. He’s second behind Sean Monhanan’s 17 goals on the team.
“Lindholm does a good job; he gets it on and off his stick quick. He’s been shooting the puck really well and played great on the penalty kill,” Peters said.