On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames’ A-team hosted the Edmonton Oilers B-squad. And as you would expect, the Flames’ A-team won! Well, the shoe will be on the other foot on Friday night, as the Flames send some depth and bubble players to Rogers Place in an effort to upset some of the Oilers’ best and brightest in pre-season action!
Puck drop is after 7 p.m. MT on the Flames website and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

Projected lineups

As noted, the Flames are sending a mix of established NHLers and bubble guys to Edmonton to face what’ll be a pretty good Oilers bunch.
Projected Flames lines (via Pat Steinberg):
Jonathan Huberdeau – Adam Ruzicka – Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube – Kevin Rooney – Cody Eakin
Connor Zary – Cole Schwindt – Sonny Milano
Mitch McLain – Clark Bishop – Walker Duehr
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Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Connor Mackey – Michael Stone
Juuso Valimaki – Nicolas Meloche
Dan Vladar starts in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf.
It’ll be back-to-back games dressed for Huberdeau, Toffoli, Rooney, McLain, Bishop, Hanifin, Andersson, Stone and Wolf.
Projected Oilers lines (via Bob Stauffer)
Kane – McDavid – Yamamoto
Hyman – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
Nugent-Hopkins – McLeod – Foegele
Esposito – Philp – Griffith
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Bouchard
Broberg – Murray
Jack Campbell and Calvin Pickard are the listed goaltenders, with Campbell likely starting.

Unavailable Flames

A handful of Flames regulars aren’t playing tonight (and haven’t played yet in pre-season):
  • Andrew Mangiapane is being eased in the pre-season after returning from a minor injury
  • Chris Tanev is being eased into the pre-season after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery
  • Oliver Kylington is on personal leave from the team

What to watch

The two big stories to watch for the road team are the bubble defenders – Stone, Mackey, Meloche and Valimaki – and the bubble forwards – Ruzicka, Eakin and Milano.
The fun quirks? All four bubble blueliners are playing on pairings together, while the three bubble forwards are all playing on separate lines – Ruzicka and Eakin are with established NHLers, while Milano gets the challenge of elevating some high-end projected AHLers. It’ll be fascinating to see who finds a way to stand out against a tough Edmonton squad.
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