Ailing Flames cap homestand vs. Predators

( – Injuries have forced the Calgary Flames to turn to a
number of reinforcements ahead of Friday’s homestand-closing matchup with the
Nashville Predators.

The Flames hope the fresh bodies can get their offense on track before they
hit the road for five in a row.

Calgary has placed Mason Raymond (upper body), Matt Stajan (strained right
knee) and Mikael Backlund (abdominal) on injured reserve over the past few
days, while Joe Colborne, who leads the club with eight assists, also is
unlikely to play tonight due to an upper-body injury.

Both Colborne and Stajan were hurt in Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the
Montreal Canadiens, while Raymond landed on IR prior to that game. Backlund,
meanwhile, has been battling his abdominal issue all season.

Following the rash of injuries, forwards Devin Setoguchi and Brian McGrattan
are expected to return to the lineup after serving as recent healthy
scratches, while Markus Granlund and Michael Ferland have been recalled from
the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League.

Ferland was leading Adirondack with nine points on four goals and five
assists, while Granlund had three goals and five points in eight games.

The fresh faces will try to spark the offense in the finale of this homestand,
one that has produced a 1-1-2 record. Calgary has scored just one goal in each
loss while picking up a 5-0 win over Carolina as well.

Defenseman Mark Giordano had the lone goal in Tuesday’s shootout loss, while
Jonas Hiller made 18 saves through overtime.

“We won the puck. We just couldn’t capitalize on a couple of good scoring
chances,” said Flames coach Bob Hartley. “This was one of our fastest games
we’ve played all year. The pace was just unbelievable. From the bench I
thought it was a great game to watch.”

Hiller will start over Karri Ramo tonight, marking the first time this season
either of the two will make back-to-back starts. Hiller has allowed just three
goals on 120 shots over his past four starts, but is only 4-9-4 lifetime
versus the Predators with a 2.91 goals against average and .910 save

Nashville resumes its six-game road trip tonight having opened the swing with
Wednesday’s 4-1 triumph over Edmonton. Pekka Rinne made 26 saves and Craig
Smith scored a pair of goals.

Taylor Beck and Shea Weber added tallies and Roman Josi chipped in a pair of
assists in Nashville’s third victory in four games.

“That’s a hot team. They had won four in a row. We knew we had to be ready,”
Weber said of the Oilers.

Rinne has gotten off to a 6-1-1 start this season, posting a 1.71 GAA and .936
save percentage through eight starts. He is 5-5-3 lifetime versus the Flames
with a 2.77 GAA and .903 save percentage.

Rinne made 26 saves and Smith had two assists in a 3-2 shootout loss to the
visiting Flames on Oct. 14. Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro had the goals.

Colborne had the shootout winner, while Giordano and fellow defenseman T.J.
Brodie scored in regulation. Ramo posted 19 saves.

The Predators are 6-1-2 in their past nine versus the Flames, but have lost
five of their last seven trips to Calgary.