Oilers @ Flames Game 40 Preview

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Nearing the halfway mark of the season, Oilers try to extend their holiday cheer for at least one more game.




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200px-calgary_flames_logo
12-24-3, .692 p/g Ranks 14-17-6, .918 p/g
Western Conf: 14th Western Conf: 13th
22nd P/G 26th
24th ST 28th
29th ES 28th
30th Goal 28th
7 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Scotiabank Saddledome
The opposing view: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Tickets - TiqIQ

Top Story

  • Oilers soundly defeated the Winnipeg Jets on Monday by a score of 6-2.  With the playoffs well out of sight, they look to close out the 2013 calendar year with a couple of victories.  What better a time against their longtime Alberta rivals?

The Oilers are saying:

"We want something to build something special here, we think we're well now in the path of doing that, and that's how we'll reward our fans, by having a team that's going to compete year in and year out, for the next 10 or 15 years, for the Stanley Cup, and the only way to do that is to suffer, a little bit of pain and suffering, and the way you get from the bottom to the top is littered with failure along the way, and a lot of pain and suffering throughout every corner, but it really is the only way to build a team that...success is sustainable for the long peroid of time, and we're gonna reward our fans with an unbelievably, incredibly entertaining hockey."

That's Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish in an interview with Bob Stauffer on the current state of the team.

I realize MacTavish inherited this team around eight months ago, but you're not going to sell very much land with lines like "a lot of pain and suffering" and "littered with failure along the way",  I want to be supportive, but I'm running a bit short on patience in the eighth consecutive year of NHL hockey without Oiler playoffs.

I keep making statements like this, but we all know there's no walking away.  Get in the playoffs already.

MacTavish also said that the Oilers have certain players in "abundance", and that they'd be willing to try and turn those players into other kinds of players via the trade market.  Hurry up and bring me P.K. Subban already.

The Opponent is saying:

"We know how good they are.  Beating them is especially good because you know it takes a lot to do that.  The fact that we were able to make it hard on them in the third..."

That's Flames forward Mike Cammalleri on coming back to beat the Blues this past Monday

Give Calgary credit, as many thought they'd be the team riding the relegation rail this season.  The Flames aren't a playoff club, but they're keeping it interesting throughout the season so far.  They came back to defeat the Blues after being down in the third (something that doesn't often happen to St. Louis), and they're currently seven points up on the Oilers with two games in hand.

The Oilers were playing for pride by the time November rolled around. The Flames weren't expected to make much noise at all this year, and they're doing better than most anyone expected.  All of those good feelings enveloped after trouncing the Jets would float away like a fart in the wind with a loss to Calgary tonight.

Of note:

  • Oilers recalled Martin Marincin and Roman Horak from the Oklahoma City Barons yesterday.  Marincin has filled in on defence for a couple of games this year, Roman Horak has yet to play in a game for Edmonton.  They are expected to be healthy scratches tonight.
  • Devan Dubnyk will get the start tonight at the Dome.  Ilya Bryzgalov will start tomorrow at home versus Philadelphia.  .I'd like to think that the club made this decision after watching Ondrej Pavelec have a tough time on Monday, however they came to the decision, it's a good one.  Playing a goalie on back to back nights doesn't usually yield the results you're hoping for.
  • A win tonight would give the Oilers their fifth win in the month of December.  Why does it feel like there haven't been nearly that many?
  • Lines are expected to remain the same for Edmonton tonight.  This means the line of Hall - Nugent-Hopkins  - Perron will remain a thing.  This trio combined for seven points in Edmonton's 6-2 victory over Winnipeg this past Monday.

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - David Perron

Jesse Joensuu - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle

Ryan SmythBoyd GordonAles Hemsky

Luke Gazdic - Anton Lander - Nail Yakupov

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Nick Schultz - Jeff Petry

Anton Belov - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Calgary Flames

Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Paul Byron

T.J. Galiardi - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Jiri Hudler - Joe Colborne - David Jones

Lance Bouma - Sean Monahan - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - Ladislav Smid

Chris Butler - TJ Brodie

Chris Breen - Shane O'Brien

Reto Berra

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