Sunday, January 1, 2012
The Nashville Predators will take on the Calgary Flames for the final time in the 2011-2012 season tonight at Bridgestone Arena at a special 5 p.m. start time. The Predators have gone 2-1-0 against the Flames this year in the previous three meetings.
Calgary superstar Jarome Iginla enters tonight's contest just two goals away from 500 goals for his career. He's been a consistent player for the Flames since he first broke into the NHL in the 1996-1997 season.
"He's got a really good shot. He knows how to get in position. You can't teach scoring. You just have to have a knack for it, and he's been one of the best players of this era," said Predators defenseman Jack Hillen.
"When you think of a power forward, that's one of the first names you think about in the National Hockey League for probably the last 10 years. When he's playing that straight-line game and hammering pucks at the net, he's a force," said Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz.
Colin Wilson and Shea Weber will not being playing in tonight's game. Weber is out with a concussion, and Wilson suffered an upper body injury that kept him out of the lineup against St. Louis. Kevin Klein will return to the lineup tonight for the Predators.
My player to watch for the Flames is Miikka Kiprusoff. He usually plays a very good game against the Predators, and tonight's game will probably be no different. The Predators will have to generate a lot of shots on Kiprusoff, and capitalize on the rebounds after he makes the initial save.
For Nashville, my player to watch is Pekka Rinne. Rinne has allowed a combined two goals in the last two games, and hasn't allowed a goal in the shootout in eight attempts during the same time frame.
"(Rinne) has been outstanding in the last few games here. I just think he's been really sharp, and when you need that big save he's been able to do that. He's been really battling. Teams have been really crashing on him, and he's been really solid for us," Trotz said.
(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)