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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

FGD 50: The 252nd Battle of Alberta (8pm MT, CBC/SN West)

It’s a high stakes Battle of Alberta up at Rogers Place! The Calgary Flames (22-24-3, 47 points) face the Edmonton Oilers (29-17-2, 60 points) in a game that has implications for both clubs. The Flames are six points behind Montreal for the final playoff spot, while Edmonton’s trying to fend off Winnipeg to get home ice in their likely playoff series.

The action starts at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet West (and the national feed) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

For a view from the other side, check out OilersNation!

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The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Mangiapane – Monahan – Ritchie
Lucic – Backlund – Dube
Nordstrom – Ryan – Robinson

Giordano – Tanev
Valimaki – Stone
Nesterov – Andersson

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Jacob Markstrom is tonight’s starter, backed up by Louis Domingue. The projected extras are Byron Froese and Oliver Kylington. The taxi squad is Artyom Zagidulin, Connor Mackey, Dominik Simon, Glenn Gawdin and Zac Rinaldo. No changes are expected from Thursday’s line-up.

The Flames have played well lately, but the clock is against them right now. They don’t control their own fate, but the best they can do is try to keep winning and hope Montreal loses a bunch. The Canadiens are facing Ottawa in the early game on Hockey Night in Canada.

The Oilers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Draisaitl – McDavid – Yamamoto
Nugent-Hopkins – McLeod – Puljujarvi
Kahun – Haas – Archibald
Neal – Shore – Chiasson

Nurse – Barrie
Kulikov – Larsson
Jones – Bear

Mike Smith starts for Edmonton, backed up by Mikko Koskinen. The active extras are Alex Stalock, Joakim Nygard and William Lagesson. Their taxi squad is Evan Bouchard, Tyler Ennis, Kyle Turris and Patrick Russell.

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The Oilers are trying to round into playoff form and are three points up on Winnipeg for second place (and nine back of Toronto for first) with two games in hand. They’re trying to nail down second place and home ice for their seemingly inevitable first round series with the Jets.

The Oilers looked tired at times on Thursday, playing their third game in four nights with travel. They should be sharper and more energetic tonight.

The numbers

Calgary Edmonton
Wins 22 29
Points (%) 47 (.480) 60 (.625)
Adjusted Corsi For 52.2% 48.8%
Expected Goals 52.7% 49.4%
Power Play 19.9% 26.3%
Penalty Kill 80.8% 79.6%

Playoff hopes and dreams

The Flames’ tragic number is 4.5. Any combination of 4.5 Calgary losses and Montreal wins eliminates the Flames from playoff contention. Their magic number is 10.5. Any combination of 10.5 Flames wins and Montreal losses clinch the Flames a playoff spot. (Overtime/shootout losses for either team subtracts 0.5 from either number.)

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Josh Leivo and Noah Hanfin.

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The Oilers are without Oscar Klefbom, Slater Koekkoek, Jujhar Khaira, Kris Russell and Zach Kassian.

When last we met

This is the final Battle of Alberta in 2020-21. The Flames have won four of the first nine meetings. They won by scores of 6-4, 4-3, 5-0 and 3-1, but lost 2-1, 7-1, 3-2, 7-3 and 3-2. (So, uh, avoid letting the Oilers score a bunch…)

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest: