Pekka Rinne
Flames-Predators Preview
Pekka Rinne

Flames-Predators Preview

Published Dec. 14, 2015 6:51 p.m. ET

Johnny Gaudreau's scoring binge has made the Calgary Flames unbeatable at home for more than six weeks.

Duplicating that success on the road has been an issue all season, however.

The red-hot Flames begin a challenging four-game trip by visiting one of the NHL's notoriously tough venues on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators.

Mired near the bottom of the Western Conference through the season's first two months, Calgary (13-14-2) has risen back into contention by amassing 21 goals over a perfect five-game homestand. The Flames won their ninth straight at Scotiabank Saddledome with Saturday's 5-4 overtime decision over the New York Rangers, during which Gaudreau scored twice and assisted on T.J. Brodie's game-winner.


The Flames, aiming for their first six-game win streak since Jan. 21-Feb. 3, 2011, haven't been nearly as formidable on the road, where they've lost four straight and seven of eight and are 3-9-2 this season.

''We're moving in the right direction," said Brodie, who's recorded seven points over a six-game streak. "I think now we have to find a way to win on the road. We have to start finding ways to win in regulation."

Gaudreau has seven goals and three assists during the surge but like his team, hasn't been the same in enemy arenas. The dynamic young forward has just two goals and seven points in 14 road games, compared to 10 goals and 24 points in 15 at home.

Sean Monahan has posted similar splits. The third-year center, who contributed three goals and three assists on the homestand, has compiled 16 of his 23 points at the Saddledome.

With visits to NHL points leader Dallas, St. Louis and Detroit also on this trip, the Flames will get a good indication as to whether they've indeed turned a corner.

"We will need to be at our best," coach Bob Hartley told the Flames' official website. "If we want to be a playoff team, we have to win those games. We're on a good roll right now. Guys are feeling good. It's important we keep playing the same brand of hockey."

Nashville (15-10-5) hasn't been in top form of late, having lost four of six, but owns a 9-4-2 record at Bridgestone Arena after going a West-leading 28-9-4 on home ice last season. Calgary did win twice in Nashville, however, while sweeping the three-game season series in 2014-15.

The Predators have produced mixed results on their present three-game residency, following a 5-1 rout of Chicago on Thursday with Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Colorado.

Pekka Rinne stopped just 22 shots against the Avalanche after making 35 saves versus the Blackhawks. He's surrendered three or more goals in seven of 10 starts after going 10-2-3 with a 2.10 goals-against average over his first 15.

Rinne does possess a 1.99 GAA at home, while Calgary has scored 11 goals over its last six road tests.

Karri Ramo returns to the Calgary net after missing two games due to a flu bug that also affected several other players. He won a third straight start with a 31-save effort in a 4-2 home decision over San Jose last Tuesday.

The Flames are last in the NHL with a 3.52 team GAA.


Pekka Rinne
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