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Flames Game Day 7: The 258th Battle of Alberta (8pm MT, CBC/SN1/City/960)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
24 days ago
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A couple weeks ago, we had the first instalment of this season’s Battle of Alberta. It was a good game. Saturday night features the rematch, as the Calgary Flames (5-1-0, 10 points) face the Edmonton Oilers (5-3-0, 10 points) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Both teams having been playing well and winning games; who will come out on top on Hockey Night in Canada?
The battle begins at 8 p.m. MT on CBC, Sportsnet One, City TV and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
For a view from the other side, check out OilersNation!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Coleman – Backlund – Lewis
Lucic – Rooney – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by Dan Vladar. It’s the fifth consecutive start for Markstrom, and a chance for sweet redemption after he was fairly ordinary against the Oil in the playoffs. The extras are Connor Mackey and Adam Ruzicka.
The Flames have won three of four games they’ve played since the last Battle of Alberta. They have yet to play what you’d call a “Classic Flames Game,” in that they haven’t controlled a game at five-on-five from bell to bell. But they’ve gotten key stops and key goals when they’ve needed them, which has allowed them to get to this point with just a single loss.
Keep an eye on Nazem Kadri in this game. Not only has he registered a point in every single game this season, but he had two points in a superb performance at Rogers Place two weeks ago.

The Oilers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Hyman
Kane – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – McLeod – Puljujarvi
Holloway – Ryan – Shore
Nurse – Bouchard
Kulak – Ceci
Niemelainen – Barrie
Stuart Skinner starts for Edmonton, backed up by Jack Campbell. Their extra skater appears to be Ryan Murray.
After morning skate, Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft had a succinct summary in why Skinner is starting: “I think he has a chance to win us win the game.”
The Oilers are 4-2-0 since the last Battle of Alberta. While they’re not quite at full capacity, they’ve really gotten their game together – especially defensively – compared to earlier this season and look much closer to the team everybody expected to see. They are prone to gaffes – the Chicago game on Thursday was way closer than it should’ve been and was a bit of a track meet – but the Oilers have the firepower to win track meets.
“What we’re searching for is a measure of consistency about our game,” said Woodcroft. “But what I’ve liked and what I’ve enjoyed as the coach of the Edmonton Oilers here in the first part of the season is how hard our players are working for each other. We’re not perfect, we realize that, but we’re working to be the best we can.”
Fun fact: the Oilers have four players scoring at higher than a point-per-game pace. Heck, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are both a point shy of two points per game. They good.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Oilers are without Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Oscar Klefbom.

The numbers

FlamesOilers
5Wins5
10 (.833)Points (%)10 (.625)
51.2xGF%51.2
30.4PP%34.5
84.6PK%75.0

Head to head

There are been 257 previous regular season meetings between Calgary and Edmonton:
  • The Flames have won 129 times (117 in regulation, 7 in overtime, 5 in a shootout)
  • The Oilers have won 110 times (102 in regulation, 4 in overtime, 4 in a shootout)
  • 18 of the games ended in a tie
The Flames beat Edmonton 4-3 at Rogers Place two weeks ago.

Social life

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