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GAME PREVIEW: Game 13/56 - Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames

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Get on up for the Battle of Alberta

Ottawa Senators v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (6-6-0, 4th in North) vs.

Calgary Flames (4-5-1, 6th in North).

06 February 2021

Scotiabank Saddledome

8 PM MST

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

THE BATTLE IS HERE

The Oilers and Flames get together this evening for their first provincial battle of the shortened season. Edmonton has done quite well for themselves as they come in on a three game win streak. Calgary has dropped their last two. The first chapter of this year’s BOA series takes place in Calgary, where the Oilers hope to pick up two more points before heading out east.

Will the Oilers take two from their provincial rivals tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“What do you want me to say, Jim?”

Source

That’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins when asked if there was going to be any more “Monahan-Nugent-Hopkins fights, that was a one off?”

Ahem. Nugent-Hopkins didn’t crack the scoresheet last game, but he did put in a three point night last Sunday against the Senators. Nugent-Hopkins stands at ten points in twelve games (5-5-10) so far this season, and he’ll look to add that total tonight in Calgary.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

“I think, definitely, from when I first came into the league, both teams weren’t having too much success. It’s changed a lot. In the last year and a half, there have been some pretty intense games. Both teams have gotten into the playoffs, too, in the past few years, and there’s going to be an opportunity to play each other a lot more now. It’s the perfect setup for us tomorrow. We need a big game. We need an intense game from our group and when Edmonton comes to town, it definitely brings out that emotion in all of us.”

Source

That’s Flames captain Mark Giordano on tonight’s matchup between the Oilers and the Flames

The Flames have dropped their last two games, they’ve picked up wins in only one of their last five. The Flames will look to irritate and get under Edmonton’s skin early in an attempt to shake things up.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • PULJU POWER - It took a few11/ games up on the top line for Jesse Puljujärvi to score a goal, he did it twice against Ottawa on Tuesday night. ‘Overdue’ is selling him short. Glad to see him rewarded with a couple goals after working hard.
  • 97/29: Oh, things are good here. Connor McDavid is averaging two points per night (he’s got 24 in 12 games), while Leon Draisaitl is averaging 1.8 per game. There’s a good chance that both of these players could end up at or near 100 points at the end of this 56 game season. Let’s start with a handful each tonight.
  • THE BOUCH IS LOOSE: Evan Bouchard made his season debut on Tuesday night, he clocked in just under 17 minutes of total ice time and picked up one assist. Bouchard was deployed on a unit that featured 7 defencemen against Ottawa, and there’s some reason to believe that he’ll be back even as Ethan Bear gets back into the lineup. Although Ethan Bear was at practice on Friday, he will miss his third game in a row tonight.
  • FLAME OUT: The Flames are having trouble scoring goals, plain and simple. They rank just 24th in the league in goals scored per game at 2.6. They’re allowing a fairly stout 2.7 goals per game, but all of that doesn’t really matter much if you can’t light the lamp. Both Johnny Gaudreau (6-5-11) and Elias Lindholm (2-9-11) lead the team in points, they will likely be teamed up on the top line with Dillon Dube (1-2-3 in 7 GP)
  • NET GAINS: It sure looks like Mike Smith will be activated after tonight’s game, as he could be seen skating with the main group on Thursday. For tonight, expect Mikko Koskinen to get the start (5-6-0, .897 SV% / 3.31 GAA). For Calgary, Jacob Markstrom (4-3-2, .920 SV% / 2.37 GAA) will likely get the nod.
  • SCRATCHES: Ethan Bear will miss his third straight game (head). Gaetan Haas did not practice on Friday, but he’s expected to be in the lineup tonight. Goaltender Mike Smith will likely be activated after tonight’s game. For Calgary, forward Derek Ryan will be out with a fractured finger.