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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

No time to slow down. Oilers host Flames in season’s first Battle of Alberta.

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (1-0-0) vs

Calgary Flames (0-0-0)

16 October 2021

Rogers Place



Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline


Edmonton got their season off on the right foot Wednesday night by picking up two points against the Canucks. Jesse Puljujärvi scored Edmonton’s first goal, while new Oiler Zach Hyman made it 2-0 while on the power play. The Canucks were able to climb back into it during the third period when they picked up goals from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a wobbly one from Quinn Hughes, but it was Kyle Turris who scored in the shootout to put the Oilers over. It’s probably not how anyone had it scripted, but take those two points and get ready for the next one.

Calgary. Everybody just has wild, great things to say about Calgary. The Flames are in town for this year’s first Battle of Alberta. The Oilers are looking to make it 2-0 on the season with a big win tonight. Can the Oilers keep the good times rolling?

Let’s go to the tape.


“Really solid.”


That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett on Evan Bouchard’s season opening performance in Edmonton’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Canucks. Bouchard played about six minutes on the PK, in which Dave Tippett sounded pretty pleased. Bouchard’s time on third pair likely comes with an expiration date sooner than later.


“We’re all pretty excited to head to Edmonton and play in front of a full crowd”


That’s Flames defenceman Noah Hanafin on getting ready for their season opener.

The Flames were disappointed with how things turned out in last year’s shortened season. Having had to wait until tonight to get their season started, they’re no doubt chomping at the bit to get things going.


  • LINE CHANGES: Tippett says that Koekkoek is likely to get in for his first game of the season tonight, he’ll pair with Evan Bouchard. Zack Kassian is likely back after msising the opener while recovering from a nasty spill during a preseason tilt. Devin Shore will remain out, he may be a go for sometime next week.
  • Jesse Puljujärvi could score a lot of goals just like he did his first of the year - parked right in front of the goaltender.
  • Let’s watch to see if Tippett ends up pairing Bouchard with Darnell Nurse anymore tonight. Bouchard ended up with a bunch of PK time to go along with his EV time. He ended up pulling 22+ minutes in his season debut, Nurse ended up playing half the game.
  • The Duncan Keith-Cody Ceci experience had some ups, it had some downs in its first show. They were able to tread water at evens, which I’ll take every day of the week. One caveat? They’ll want to get a handle on the outlet passes. Don’t care how good or not Mike Smith is, if there’s a couple of breakaways per game, someone’s going to cash in before long
  • NET GAINS: Mike Smith looks to make it 2-0-0 after turning aside 36 of 38 total shots. The Flames will roll with Jacob Markstrom in their season debut. Markstrom is coming off a disappointing first season with the Flames that saw him finish with a .904 SV% in the shortened season. Can he change things up this year?
  • FEAST OFLAMES? Really interested to see the Oilers top line out against any Flames pair that has Erik Gudbranson or Nikita Zadorov on it.
  • SICK BAY: Devin Shore is out for the Oilers. For the Flames, Blake Coleman is serving a one game suspension. centre Brad Richardson is out, and former Oiler Tyler Pitlick is out as well.