Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Monday, November 30th
Game 2: Saturday, December 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, January 5th
Game 4: Friday, January 15th

Flames 3

(25-12-5, 55 pts)

Predators 1

(25-15-3, 53 pts)

8:00 PM ET, January 5, 2010

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
CGY 0 2 13
NSH 0 0 11

M. Kiprusoff (Flames - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: .964

O. Jokinen (Flames - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Hornqvist (Predators - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Flames-Predators Preview


The Nashville Predators have had success alternating between goaltenders Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis.

The Calgary Flames usually don't have to do as much shuffling between the pipes.

Expected to make his eighth start in nine games, Miikka Kiprusoff looks to help Calgary win its season-high fifth in a row Tuesday night against a Predators team seeking its fourth straight victory.

Kiprusoff has started all but five games for the Flames (24-12-5), and is a big reason why Calgary is one point back of first-place Colorado in the Northwest Division. With the offense struggling to score at times, Kiprusoff has helped put the Flames in position to win, ranking sixth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.16) and third in save percentage (92.8).

Kiprusoff has made three starts during Calgary's four-game winning streak, yielding one goal in each outing. He made 24 saves in Saturday's 3-1 win over Toronto.

Kiprusoff stopped all 22 shots in a 5-0 victory at Nashville on Nov. 30, but didn't have the same luck in the second meeting, turning aside just 15 of 19 shots in a 5-3 home loss Dec. 19. He is still 8-2-1 with a 2.62 GAA in his last 11 starts against the Predators.

While Kiprusoff has been a workhorse for Calgary, Rinne and Ellis have alternated starts in goal over the last six games for Nashville (25-14-3).

Rinne finished with 25 saves in Saturday's 3-1 win over Anaheim, improving to 2-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA in his last three games. Ellis, who is 4-2-0 with a 2.88 GAA in his last six, is expected to get the starting nod in this contest.

"I think both of them are going pretty good right now," coach Barry Trotz told "I don't think I can make a bad decision right now. I could close my eyes and get the quarter out and flip it and both could do a good job. That is the luxury we have and it will be really important for us."

Ellis was in net for the win over the Flames, stopping 29 shots to improve to 2-2-0 with a 2.74 GAA lifetime against them.

Five different players scored for the Predators at Calgary last month, with Martin Erat and Marcel Goc each recording a goal and two assists.

Erat, who leads Nashville with 14 goals and 27 points, could return to the ice for this game after missing the last two with a lower-body injury.

One of the biggest challenges facing Ellis and the Predators is trying to slow down Flames captain Jarome Iginla -- something they've had little success accomplishing. Iginla had a goal and an assist against Nashville in November, and two goals and an assist in the rematch.

Iginla, who leads Calgary with 21 goals and 41 assists, had a goal and two assists Saturday, while linemate Curtis Glencross scored the go-ahead goal on a power play midway through the second period and added an empty-netter.

"We're just trying to get shots, hound them, get a forecheck, and as a line, we've been getting some chances and it's nice to see them go in," Iginla said.

The Flames, in the midst of their fourth four-game winning streak of 2009-10, haven't won five in a row since Dec. 23-Jan.3 of last season.