The Predators were lucky to get out of Edmonton with two points last night after they cruised through regulation with little sense of urgency and were saved by Pekka Rinne's stick (video here) in over time before Cody Franson saved the game with his first ever shootout goal.
Tonight, the Predators (27-15-6) face another challenge in the Calgary Flames (22-21-6). The Flames are in 14th place but are only 10 points behind the fourth place predators and only five points out of the eight seed in the Western Conference.
The Flames have played much better since their their shake up in late December when Darryl Sutter was sent packing and Jay Feaster was brought in as the new General Manager. Calgary is 4-3-3 in their last ten and have won their last two.
The Predators are the hottest team in the NHL winning 10 of their last 12 and three of four on their current six game road swing. After Calgary tonight, they will play the best in the West in Vancouver to end the pre-all-star game portion of the schedule.
Pekka Rinne (17-11-4, 2.08, .929) is set to go again in goal as Barry Trotz made a rare announcement yesterday that Rinne would play the next five games. Mikka Kiprusoff (18-18-2, 2.84, .899) should start for Calgary.
The teams have met once this season on October 16 in Nashville when the Preds were shutout 1-0 in overtime when Mikka Kipprusoff got the victory.
Other previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, Chris Burton, and Predators.com.
Here is our game story from last night.
From the blog world reports come from Amanda DiPaolo, Mark Willoughby, Dirk Hoag (with his advances stats), Patten Fuqua, Fang Finger Fever, Hockey Night in Nashville, and Pro Hockey Talk.
On the Forecheck also has postgame video from the Predators dressing room.
Game stories from oil country come from Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun, The Copper and Blue, OilersNation, and Oil on Whyte.
In Pred Nation...
Before last night's game, Barry Trotz told Josh Cooper that Pekka Rinne would start the next five games.
Josh Cooper had a feature on Ryan Suter with plenty of comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom. (previously mistakenly reported as being from the AP - apologies to Josh)
Allan Maki has a feature about Joel Ward at The Globe and Mail.
The Predators did a little bowling on Friday during their team building day off. Jay Levin has a picture of the players sporting their bowling shirts at his road trip blog.
Derek Zona at the Copper and Blue does a "what if" comparison of what Alexander Radulov could have added to the Predators.
Section 303 has a new 303:30 for your listening pleasure.
Colin Wilson's goal against the Avalanche was named the PHT Goal of the night. It was a beauty that bares repeated viewing.
Chris Burton looks at Pekka Rinne's recent play and if he will receive Vezina consideration.
Robbie at Hockey night in Nashville is feeling good about Nashville's fan base.
Admirals Roundtable has part one of an interview with Darren Pang.
The road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee, even with a struggling power play so it appears.
The Milwaukee Admirals had a rough weekend as they are in the midst of a three game winless streak.
Around the NHL...
The alternate captains were named for the All-Star Game and include Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis helping Nicklas Lidstrom while Ryan Kesler and Mike Green will aid Eric Staal. It is reported that neither Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin will play in the game.
The New York Islanders claimed Evgeni Nabokov and it appears he has no interest in reporting. Chris Botta has an excellent analysis of how the Islanders have handled it.
Before he was claimed, Ryan Porth looked at 29 teams and the chances that they could claim Evgeni Nabokov off waivers.
Just when you least expect it, the Devils win four in a row and Kovalchuk has a three point game.
Matt Barr looks at a statistical analysis of a goalie's value to his team.
Dan Bradley takes a look at a pack of lies in Atlanta. Even though the Thrashers have played better this year the fans still don show up.
From this video clip, it appears that Marty Turci isn't a fan of Pierre McGuire either.
Peter Forsberg is skating with the Avalanche to see how he feels. Adrian Dater is in ecstasy.
Dater comes up with his top 10 players so far this season that includes Pekka Rinne.
The Hockey News picks the Top 10 Off season Acquisitions.
Justin Bourne looks at what happens when a new player enters the room.
Kevin Allen looks at some of the possibilities for brothers being on the same team (or not) at the All-Star game next week.
Nashville gets some votes as best fans in this week's PuckChat Recap.
Jeff Pearlman tells the result of his undercover work that traced down a couple of hateful readers. This is interesting. Most folks are surprised that they can be found so easily with sites like PIPL.com that is free to use.
With all the changes in the Zodiac times, Down Goes Brown comes up with some signs that make sense.
Odds and Ends...
The "extra" space shuttle flight has been confirmed and has been designated as STS-135. Atlantis will be used and it will be no earlier than June 28 but most likely will be pushed later.
The Arizona Republic has insight into the family of Jared Loughner. It tells the story of the disconnect that developed between the shooter and his family and where the roots potentially came from.
I was sorry to hear of the passing of Jack LaLanne who I used to watch as a child.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass