Last night, the Nashville Predators continued their four-game road trip as they traveled to Vancouver to contend with the Vancouver Canucks. The Preds started off the game on fire. Within the first minute of the game, Craig Smith scored to give Nashville the 1-0 lead only 59 seconds into the period.

The Canucks would respond with a goal of their own at 11:39 with Brandon Sutter’s fifth of the season.  The remainder of the period would go scoreless. There would not be another goal until 15:16 of the third period when James Neal was able to break the tie and give the Preds the 2-1 win.

Tonight, the Predators end their four-game road trip as they travel to Calgary to take on the Flames.

Keys to Watch

Defensive Prowess

Recently, the Nashville Predators were able to take a look at the struggles on the defensive end of the ice. Multiple problems in goal, turnovers, and puck possession had become a growing problem for the Preds. Nashville has taken back their offensive dominance and is competing, once again, on a very high level. The Predators have only given up three goals in the last three games. All of the goals given up have been even strength goals. It seems as though this road trip was a great thing for the Preds to get back on track. A win tonight will give them a sweep of Western Canada and build confidence going into the extended break.

Flames struggling

Over most recent games, the Calgary Flames are struggling. They’ve lost two straight. Currently, the Flames are sitting towards the bottom of the Western Conference and are ten points out of the final playoff spot. Nashville has the opportunity to take advantage of an ailing team looking to get into the break.

Advantage: Special Teams

It’s always interesting to see the standings amongst various teams in the NHL in regards to special-teams. Many special teams can either make a team a top tier team in the NHL, or it can be a demise of the season.  In tonight’s match up, the Nashville PR edators clearly have an advantage in regards to special-teams. They have a top 10 power play and are not as bad as the Calgary on the penalty kill. Nashville is 8th on the power-play to Calgary’s 30th place ranking. Both teams are in the bottom five in penalty kill. If given the opportunity, the Preds need to take advantage.

The Preds look for for the sweep of Western Canada tonight against the Calgary Flames. Be sure to catch all of the action on Fox Sports-Tennessee or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 8:30 pm!