Bouncing back from a loss can typically be a difficult accomplishment. The Nashville Predators were able to defeat the Edmonton Oilers in convincing fashion, 4-1 on Wednesday night. Craig Smith had a breakout game with 2 goals and a +1 rating. Also, coming off the IR, Matt Cullen played exceptionally well in his return to the lineup. The Predators will play tonight in Calgary at 8:00 pm Central. This will be the 2nd installment of the Preds vs Calgary matchup for the 2014-15 season. In the last edition, on October 14th, Calgary got the best of the Preds in a 3-2 shootout at Bridgestone Arena.
The Calgary Flames (5-4-2) are coming off of a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Since the last matchup, Jonas Hiller has been the master between the pipes for the Flames. Hiller has a 1.64 GAA and a .948 SV% on the season. In other Flames news, Michael Ferland and Markus Granlund have been recalled from the Flames AHL-affiliate, Adirondack Flames. This is in large part to injuries occurred early on this season. The Flames are led in scoring by D Mark Giordano, C Joe Colborne, and D TJ Brodie. The three are tied with 8 points on the season.
Keys to watch:
Can Hiller stay hot for Calgary?
When the Calgary Flames acquired G Jonas Hiller their vision of his role with the team was not how he started this season. They envisioned his last 4 games. Hiller has been stellar in net and will look to continue his domination between the pipes. The Preds will have a difficult time scoring against Hiller on his current hot streak in net. Predators will have to get plenty of shots, redirections, and rebounds to be successful against Hiller.
Young production for the Preds
With goals from Craig Smith and Taylor Beck on Wednesday night, the Preds were able to see production from the young crop of players. Also, assists on these goals from Mattias Ekholm has shown that the Preds are getting production from all facets of their young core. The Preds will look for consistent production of their youthful players as the season continually progresses.
Where, oh where, is Colin Wilson and Gabriel Bourque?
3 points. With a new system under Coach Laviolette, and a focus on offensive production, Colin Wilson has 0 goals and 3 assists on the season and Gabriel Bourque has 0 goals and 0 assists. The Nashville Predators need more production out of these talented forwards. In the past, Wilson and Bourque have shown their ability to use skill in scoring at times, but so far, both have not shown up this season.
The Preds look to start another streak as they continue their extended road trip. You can catch the game on FS-TN or listen live on 102.5 The Game. Make sure to follow @PenaltyBoxRadio on Twitter for game updates all season long.