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Ryan Johansen (left) and Filip Forsberg

For the Nashville Predators, it’s as simple as win (in regulation) and in.

A regulation victory Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena over the Calgary Flames, who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 and lead the Pacific Division by 10 points over the Edmonton Oilers, will clinch the Predators’ eighth straight playoff appearance. 

More importantly, it will allow the Predators to rest goaltender Juuse Saros, who has started more games (66) and played more minutes (3877:55) than any other goalie this year, during the final two regular season games against the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes.

“For us, we haven’t talked about clinching; we haven’t talked about any of that,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “We’ve talked about getting ready for Calgary. Let’s make sure our mindset is the right way that we’re going to be in for a battle. We’re getting ourselves to our competitive mindset that gives us the best chance to win, and the results will take care of themselves.”

There are also four other scenarios that ensure a Predators postseason berth including:

  • Nashville overtime win over Calgary and Vegas fails to defeat Dallas in regulation
  • Nashville shootout win over Calgary and Vegas fails to defeat Dallas in regulation or overtime
  • Nashville gets one point vs. Calgary and Vegas loses to Dallas in any fashion
  • Vegas loss to Dallas in regulation

Nashville is 2-0 against Calgary this season — both 3-2 victories with one coming in overtime and the other in a shootout. Saros will start and the Predators also recalled forward Mathieu Olivier Tuesday morning; he will take Eeli Tolvanen’s spot in the lineup.

“You want to be a player, and you want to be a team, that plays your best when the stakes are high,” Hynes added. “That’s what we’re here to do is to be able to play games that matter and play in important situations. If you’re going to accomplish anything as a team, you have to be mentally tough, and you have to understand what it’s going to take to win.”

A win over the Vegas Golden Knights also seals a playoff spot for the Dallas Stars, who currently trail the Predators by a point in the wild card standings.

The first wild card team will travel to play Calgary in the first round while the second wild card team will travel to Colorado to play the Avalanche.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_