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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames

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First place in play as the Battle of Alberta takes place tonight in Calgary

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Buffalo Sabres
Archibald has three points (2-1-3) in his last five games
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (24-17-5) 3rd, Pacific vs

Calgary Flames (24-17-5) 4th, Pacific

11 January 2020

Scotiabank Saddledome

800 PM MST

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

The Oilers are on a nice little run right now. After a couple of shaky periods, the Oilers came back to dispose of the Canadiens by a 4-2 margin on Thursday night. Edmonton picked up a couple of goals from unexpected faces when they got one from Riley Sheahan. Alex Chiasson scored his sixth of the year. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up his tenth, while Josh Archibald tucked an empty netter to make it four unanswered goals for the good guys.

The Oilers are on a 3-0-1 run on the road. They can cap it off with a big win in Calgary today.

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

I think for the first two periods we didn’t play our best hockey...And I felt like keeping that two when they got that second one there was an important thing for our team. I knew that if we could come back and get our legs going and play up to our capabilities, we had a chance to come back in that game, and that’s what ended up happening.

Source

That’s Oilers goaltender Mike Smith after his club’s 4-2 win over the Canadiens on Thursday night.

Smith has had himself a couple of good ones after a December to forget. He turned away 35 shots en rout to Thursday’s win.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

For me, personally, I’d like to see us score a couple more goals, but their goaltender played well and so did ours. It was a good game. Fun to play.

Source

That’s Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau after his club’s 2-1 win over Minnesota on Thursday night.

Gaudreau scored the game winner in Thursday’s game. It was his twelfth of the year.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Good for Smith on being able to pull out of the doldrums with a couple of key victories. Enjoy the wins, I’m just not sure that it’s wise to put long term stock into them. He had a very bad December, it’s good to see him pick up some wins in the new year.
  • Let’s see some lines.
  • The Oilers benefited from a goal in the bottom six on Thursday. Ring one for Riley Sheahan, and an empty netter for Josh Archibald. Empty netter or no, it’s Archibald’s third point in his last five games (2-1-3). The Oilers can use every goal they can get from the bottom six right now. The top two lines remain the same. No Jujhar Khaira.
  • The Flames are scoring less goals per game than the Oilers, and that’s not good for their business (25th overall, 2.67 goals per game). They’re ranked 19th in the league on the power play, and they’re trying to counter all of this by putting Sam Bennett on the fourth line with Zac Rinaldo and Tobias Rieder (?!).
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen (14-8-2, .912 SV% / 1 SO / 2.85 GAA) will get his first start since a December 31st win over the Rangers. The Flames are countering with a familiar face in Cam Talbot (6-7-0, .923 SV% / 2.51 GAA).
  • SICK BAY: Matthew Benning (concussion) will be out for the Oilers. For Calgary, they’re missing defenceman Juuso Valimaki (knee).
  • IMPLICATIONS: The Oilers are playing for first place in the Pacific tonight. A win in regulation will put them there. The Oilers play Calgary twice more just after the All-Star break. Also twice on that list? The Coyotes. You want to make the playoffs? Start with a win tonight.

Let’s go!