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Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames Game Preview

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Battle of Alberta tonight at the Saddledome.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (30-34-4) (6th, Pacific)

Calgary Flames (34-26-10) (5th, Pacific)

7 PM

Rogers Place

TV: Sportsnet, Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

BREAKDOWN:

Oilers on a 3 game winning streak after finishing their 5 game homestand at 3-2. Connor McDavid is in the hunt for his second straight scoring title, but all of that takes a backseat as the Flames and Oilers hook up for a late season matchup. The Flames are on the outside of the playoff tree looking in, and the Oilers can throw a significant ding into their chances with a Flames loss in Calgary tonight.

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“I’m just looking to finish out the season strong with the team and individually as well...This is a growing period for our group to feel good about ourselves going into the summer and coming into next year”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on his three point performance (2-1-3) against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

McDavid is the draw for these remaining 14 games. He needs 16 points for back-to-back 100 point seasons.

The Flames are saying

“You just look at our start compared to how we finished and the desperation, the urgency just wasn’t there at the start and it got us behind the eight ball. It’s tough to come back in this league. We threw everything at [Gibson], but it just wasn’t enough. It’s exhausting to try and chase the game, especially that early. That’s the way it went tonight.”

Source

That’s Flames goaltender Mike Smith on his team’s performance during Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Islanders.

The Islanders played some desperate hockey on Sunday, they hung five goals on the Flames. Goaltender Christopher Gibson (you remember him from last week’s Oilers / Islanders tilt) had 50 saves in the win for New York.

Have some of this

  • He could play tomorrow, they say. Oscar Klefbom had what everyone’s calling ‘a procedure’ that caused him to miss the Minnesota game on Saturday. He’ll miss tonight’s game versus Calgary, but he might be back tomorrow against San Jose. If he needs surgery, it makes zero sense to have him go through the motions of these remaining games.
  • The Oilers need more of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on that top line with Connor McDavid. Last game it was with Pontus Aberg. If the Oilers use the lines used in practice yesterday, we might be in for more 93-97-46 tonight. Nugent-Hopkins had an empty-netter to go along with a primary assist last game against the Wild. More please.
  • Calgary is 20th on offence (2.79 per game), just .01 more goals than Edmonton (2.78). they’re 15th overall in goals allowed (2.87 per game). Calgary’s power play has been less than stellar at 24th overall (17.6%), while their PK clocks in at 13th overall (81.1%).
  • Oilers’ PK is still dead last at 74.4%, but Philadelphia’s is close by at 30th (74.7%!)
  • Look for Cam Talbot to get the start tonight against the Flames (25-26-2, .906 SV% / 3.03 GAA / 1 SO). Mike Smith is projected to go for the Flames (23-17-6, .920 SV%, 2.56 GAA / 2 SO)
  • SICK BAY: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder) is out. For the Flames, Matthew Tkachuk is out (concussion), Matthew Hrivnak is out (concussion).
  • It’s the Battle of Alberta. Just win, baby. #GOILERS