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For the third and final time in the regular season, the Calgary Flames (16-12-7, 39 points) face off against their most bitter rivals, the Edmonton Oilers (18-15-2, 38 points). It’s a game that’ll have big standings implications… but implications we probably won’t fully appreciate for three and a half months.
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Dube – Lindholm – Toffoli
Huberdeau – Kadri – Lucic
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Lewis – Ruzicka – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Jacob Markstrom is projected to start, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Connor Mackey and Radim Zohorna. Dennis Gilbert skated with the group, wearing a full bubble face shield, but he remains on the injury reserve.
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The Flames are in the midst of a pretty productive month, posting a 6-3-4 record so far in December. They’ve out-scored their opponents 43-37 (28-24 at five-on-five). Their special teams are a work in progress: their power play is running at 18.8% (22nd) but their penalty kill is 81.8% (5th). They’re a team that hasn’t fully clicked yet, and occasionally they still have some kinks in their connectedness on the ice. But they’re definitely trending in the right direction and looking much closer to the team we thought we’d see this season.
It’s the first half of a back-to-back for the Flames. They had off to the Emerald City to play the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night to complete the set. It’s part of an odd stretch where they played a back-to-back heading into the break and come out of the break with another one.
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The Oilers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Hyman – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Foegele – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Janmark – Nugent-Hopkins – Kostin
Holloway – McLeod – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Niemelainen – Bouchard
We’re projecting Stuart Skinner to start, backed up by Jack Campbell. The projected extras are James Hamblin, Philip Broberg and Devin Shore.
The Oilers headed into the breaking losing four of their last five games (1-2-2). Their challenges are, well, the challenges we expected to see from this group: they’re just not a cohesive defensive team. They can out-score their problems sometimes, but not consistently enough to stay above the playoff cut line quite yet. We’ll see if they can pull it together.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington and Dennis Gilbert.
The Oilers are without Oscar Klefbom, Mike Smith, Ryan Murray and Evander Kane.
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The numbers

Flames
Oilers
16
Wins
18
39 (.557)
Points (%)
38 (.543)
53.2
xGF%
50.7
19.5
PP%
32.3
80.7
PK%
72.3

Head to head

This is the third and final regular season meeting between these teams this season. They’ve split the two previous games.
There are been 258 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 111 times (103 in regulation, 4 in overtime, 4 in a shootout)
  • 18 of the games ended in a tie

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Oilers Twitter (be nice!):