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Calgary Flames Game Day 46: The 261st Battle of Alberta (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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The Calgary Flames (21-19-5, 47 points) faced the Edmonton Oilers (25-15-1, 51 points) at the end of October at Commonwealth Stadium at the Heritage Classic. The game was preceded by a lot of excitement and ceremony. Nickleback played! The game itself was very one-sided, with the Oilers carrying most of the play and winning decisively. The Flames are likely looking for a measure revenge, and to halt the Oilers’ record-approaching winning streak at a “mere” dozen games.
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, City TV, Sportsnet’s national feed, and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as +125 underdogs against the Oilers on Betway. Both teams will be wearing their Heritage Classic jerseys for this game.
For a look from the other side, head over to OilersNation!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Coronato
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Klapka
Hanifin – Tanev
Andersson – Weegar
Gilbert – Oesterle
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. Based on morning skate, it appears that Nick DeSimone is the extra skater with Dennis Gilbert coming in. Dillon Dube missed morning skate and likely misses this game – head coach Ryan Huska noted he’s not feeling well. Jacob Markstrom & Martin Pospisil were both on the active roster as of morning skate and Gilbert was on the injury reserve, but those things could be changing before puck drop.
The Flames were uncharacteristically sloppy with their puck management on Thursday against Toronto, making enough mistakes that head coach Ryan Huska termed “selfish” and “stupid.” When the Flames play a structured, four line style of hockey and just grind on their opponents with pace and speed, they’re a tough team to play. They don’t have a difference-maker on their team the way Edmonton does; they need to rely on their depth, structure and discipline.
Since the Heritage Classic, the Flames are 19-13-4. Since the Oilers’ win streak began on Dec. 21, they’re 8-5-0.

The Oilers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Hyman
Kane – Draisaitl – Foegele
Janmark – McLeod – Ryan
Gagner – Holloway – Brown
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Stuart Skinner is projected to start in net, backed up by Calvin Pickard. Their projected extra skaters are Adam Erne and Philip Kemp.
What can we say about the Edmonton Oilers? They’ve found a new gear to their game under new head coach Kris Knoblauch. They’re good! They have two excellent players at the top of their lineup in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, and they’re playing a strong defensive game lately. This isn’t the run-and-gun Oilers; these guys actually back-check. And that’s bad news for the rest of the NHL.
The Oilers have won 12 games in a row – a win over the Flames would set a Western Conference record – and they’re 23-10-0 since the Heritage Classic.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Dennis Gilbert, Jacob Markstrom and Martin Pospisil.
The Oilers are healthy.

The numbers

FlamesOilers
21Wins25
47 (.522)Points (%)51 (.622)
49.5%
(20th)
xGF%58.0%
(1st)
14.1%
(28th)
PP%25.8%
(7th)
84.1%
(6th)
PK%81.8%
(10th)

Head to head

This is the second of four Battles of Alberta this season. The Oilers won their first meeting 5-2. They meet again in February in Edmonton and close out the season series in Calgary in March.

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