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Sliding Preds make a stop in Calgary

The Predators saw all the bounces go the opposition's way in losing their fourth straight game on Thursday. Luck certainly hasn't been on their side lately against the Flames either.

Nashville closes out a three-game road trip this afternoon hoping to avoid a fifth straight loss as it visits Calgary and the Saddledome.

Facing the Canucks two days ago, Predators netminder Pekka Rinne gave up four first-period goals on 16 shots to put his club in an early hole and Nashville lost a 5-1 decision despite Anders Lindback stopping 23-of-24 shots faced in relief.

"I'm not going to go with any excuses, but they seemed to get pretty good bounces, a few off our own sticks," said Rinne.

Nashville fell to 0-3-1 since opening the season with consecutive road wins and has posted six goals in the four losses after netting seven in its two wins. No Predator skater has scored more than two goals so far this season, including Matt Halischuk, who scored his second goal on Thursday.

Still, head coach Barry Trotz said his defense needs to improve following Thursday's loss.

"A couple of defensemen had some really bad reads, so we have to get that corrected," Trotz said.

Nashville is hoping to avoid five straight defeats for the first time since Dec. 18-28, but was swept in four games by the Flames a season ago. Calgary won three of those games by just one goal, taking two beyond regulation.

The Predators have lost 10 of their last 12 to the Flames overall and four of the past six meetings in Calgary.

Rinne has never beaten the Flames, going 0-4-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average.

Calgary resumes a season-long, six-game homestand today having split the first two games. It knocked off Edmonton to start the residency on Tuesday before dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers on Thursday.

In his second start of the season, Henrik Karlsson made 26 saves before yielding the game-winner with 1.8 seconds left.

"I think the guys played terrific in front of me," said Karlsson. "They kept them out almost the whole game."

Jarome Iginla scored for the first time in four games and added an assist, while Mark Giordano also scored in the setback, one that still left head coach Brent Sutter encouraged.

"I thought our effort was definitely there tonight. We did a lot of good things, obviously there's still some improvement we need to continue to work on in our own zone," said Sutter. "But for the most part we did a pretty good job. I thought we worked hard. It was definitely, out of the games we've played, it was our most complete game."

Sutter is likely to go back to No. 1 goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff today after he was in net for all four wins versus the Predators a season ago, posting a 1.21 GAA.