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By MATT BECKER
(AP) -- No Western Conference team has given the Nashville Predators more problems over the last few seasons than the Calgary Flames.
Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla have been big reasons why.
Kiprusoff, who is likely to be in goal, and Iginla look to help the Flames to a fifth straight win over a Predators team trying to avoid losing its fifth in a row Saturday at the Saddledome.
With Kiprusoff having started at least 70 games each of the last six seasons for Calgary (2-3-1), coach Brent Sutter is trying to lessen his workload for 2011-12. Kiprusoff got his second night off of the season in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday, making it appear probable that he'll be back in net against the Predators (2-3-1).
Kiprusoff can usually be counted on to play against Nashville, having appeared in each of the last 20 games in the series.
He has helped the Flames to a 12-3-1 record versus the Predators since the start of the 2007-08 season, Calgary's best mark against any West opponent. Nashville's .313 winning percentage in that span is its worst against any conference foe.
Calgary swept last season's four-game series with Kiprusoff posting a 1.21 goals-against average and a shutout.
Iginla had a pair of goals in the four games, giving him 13 versus the Predators since the start of 2007-08 - tied for his most against any team outside the Northwest Division.
He scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Mark Giordano's power-play goal Thursday. The Flames, who opened a season-high six-game homestand with a 2-1 win over Edmonton on Tuesday, lost to the Rangers on Ryan McDonagh's goal with two seconds remaining in overtime.
"It's tough to lose that game because we've talked about playing a certain style and getting more consistent and we were that tonight," Iginla said. "Guys played hard and it's the way we want to play."
The Predators lost their last game much earlier.
Nashville surrendered four first-period goals in a 5-1 loss to Vancouver on Thursday, its fourth straight defeat. The Predators, playing without top-end forwards Mike Fisher and Martin Erat, were outshot 40-25 and are the only West team to be outshot in every game. They managed a season-low 12 shots in a 3-1 loss to Edmonton on Monday.
"We're the youngest team in the league without Fisher, Erat and (concussed defenseman Francis) Bouillon, so our youth shows at times," coach Barry Trotz said. "We have some young players maybe playing higher than they need to, but they've got to battle through it. You're going to have to go up against the best in the league. If you're scared of that, then get a dog, because this is the NHL."
Trotz pulled Rinne after a 12-save first period. Backup Andres Lindback appeared in his first game and played well, stopping 23 of 24 shots.
Rinne was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last season but is off to a slow start, going 2-3-1 with a 2.97 GAA. He has not had any success against the Flames, going 0-4-2 with a 3.16 GAA in seven starts. Calgary is the only team that he has faced more than once and not beaten.
Updated October 21, 2011