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FGD 49: A Highway 2 hullabaloo (7pm MT, SN West)

The Calgary Flames (25-16-7) are on both a three game losing streak and a 10 game point streak that dates back to New Year’s Eve – their three losses have come in extra time. They’ll try to extend one of those streaks and extinguish the other one when they visit the reeling Edmonton Oilers (21-24-3) in their final game before the All-Star Break.

The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

For a view from the other side check out OilersNation. But be nice, they’ve probably already suffered enough this season.

The Flames

Last evening’s lines, courtesy of Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Monahan (A) – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Brouwer (A)
Bennett – Jankowski – Hathaway
Hrivik – Stajan – Lazar

Giordano (C) – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone

David Rittich starts for the Flames. He’s 4-1-1 with a 2.03 goals against average and .932 save percentage. He’s backed up by All-Star Mike Smith. Last night’s scratches were Matt Bartkowski and Andrew Mangiapane, and Ryan Lomberg has been recalled from Stockton. Lomberg is confirmed to make his NHL debut tonight, but it’s not clear who he’s replacing or what other changes are happening.

Three goals. That’s how much offense the Flames have mustered since their bye week. They’ve also only allowed five goals in that span, so they’re wasting a bunch of really nice defensive and goaltending performances by their club. They absolutely need more out of their offensive players, because this scant offense from what’s basically a cap team is pretty atrocious.

The Flames have not beaten the Oilers since Glen Gulutzan took over as head coach last season.

The Oilers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Caggiula – McDavid – Slepyshev
Maroon – Strome – Kassian
Lucic – Draisaitl – Cammalleri
Khaira – n/a – Puljujarvi

Nurse – Larsson
Klefbom – Benning
Sekera – Russell
Davidson

Cam Talbot starts for the orange and blue. He’s 17-17-2 with a 3.15 goals against average and .901 save percentage. He’s backed up by Al Montoya. The projected scratches are Iiro Pakarinen, Yohann Auvitu and Mark Letestu. Last word from the rink is that Davidson could slot in and the Oilers could roll with seven defenders.

The Oilers lost 5-0 on Wednesday to Buffalo. Buffalo. They’re a reeling team. Expect an emotional game from the Oilers as their players try to salvage their season, save their coach’s job and try to somehow get themselves back into the playoff picture.

Nobody in the NHL has a worse penalty kill than Edmonton. Their home penalty kill has only killed off 54% of their penalties. It seems like a nice fit for Calgary’s power play.

Injury Report

Flames: Daniel Pribyl (knee), Kris Versteeg (hip), Michael Frolik (jaw) and Jaromir Jagr (groin/knee) are on the injured reserve.

Edmonton: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper-body) is on the injured reserve.

When Last We Met

This is the third of five games between the two Alberta clubs. The Flames lost the first two to Edmonton by a combined 10-5 score. They meet twice in March to finish off the season series.

The Numbers

CGY EDM
Wins 25 21
Points 57 45
Adjusted Corsi 52.3% 51.4%
Power Play 17.7% 14.8%
Penalty Kill 80.5% 71.4%

Know Thy Enemy

These poor souls tweet about the Oilers. Pity them. (Or at least try not to be jerks to ’em.)

Sum It Up

The Flames have points in many consecutive games, but need goals and wins if they’re going to make the playoffs. Edmonton would settle for just winning a game, which makes them extremely dangerous.

FGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY ATB FINANCIAL

Let’s show Vegas something they’ve never seen before—Alberta hockey fans.

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