Flames vs. Predators Preview
Nashville, TN - The Nashville Predators are off to their best start in five years despite relying primarily upon a rookie in net. Now their top goaltender is ready to return as the club looks to bounce back from its first loss.
Pekka Rinne is expected to make his second start when the Predators continue their four-game homestand against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Predators –148 money line favorites for Tuesday's game against the Flames. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 56% of more than 125 bets for this game have been placed on the Predators -148.
Rinne played 43 minutes in a season-opening 4-1 win over Anaheim on Oct. 9 but was replaced by Anders Lindback after suffering a lower-body injury.
Lindback played the next three games, winning the first two as Nashville (3-0-1) opened a season with three straight victories for the first time since 2005-06.
The 22-year-old wasn't as steady Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss to Washington, giving up two goals in the third period and the final tally 1:44 into the extra period.
"We have been playing well and obviously we want to stay positive regardless of who you play but we've got to try and take as many points as possible regardless of who we are playing," forward Joel Ward said of the Predators' first defeat. "Again, regardless of who we are playing, it's our own building so we've just got to worry about ourselves."
J.P. Dumont and Jordin Tootoo scored for Nashville, but Steve Sullivan, who has four goals and an assist, was held without a point for the first time this season. The Predators scored 11 goals in their first three games, but were 0 for 6 on the power play after converting four of their previous 13 chances.
While Trotz will apparently go with Rinne on Tuesday, the veteran is 0-2-0 with a 4.83 goals-against average in three starts against Calgary. He gave up four goals in a 5-0 home loss Nov. 30 in his most recent matchup with the Flames.
The Predators split four meetings with the Flames in 2009-10, losing twice in Nashville by a combined 8-1.
Calgary (2-2-0), which has won its last four visits to Bridgestone Arena, begins a three-game road trip after beating Edmonton 5-3 on Saturday. The Flames scored three times in the third period, taking the lead on Jarome Iginla's goal at 7:49.
It was Iginla's first tally in 15 games, and Calgary put together its best offensive effort after being held to three goals over the first three contests.
"I was pretty excited to see that one go in," Iginla said. "Obviously it's been a tough start as a team and definitely for me personally."
Iginla, who had team highs of 32 goals and 37 assists last season, didn't record a point in the team's first three contests. He added an assist on Alex Tanguay's empty-net goal - Tanguay's second score of the game.
"(Saturday) definitely feels like our most complete game of the year and something that we can learn from and build on," Iginla said.Iginla had a goal and two assists in the two games in Nashville last season, and three goals and three assists in the season series. He has 26 goals and 24 assists in 40 career games against the Predators.
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