The last time the Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome, it was Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Final Series… and it ended the Flames season. The stakes will be decidedly lower on Wednesday night when the two teams meet in exhibition action, as both clubs try to knock the rust off in advance of the beginning of the regular season… and a Battle of Alberta game that counts in the standings is just a few weeks away.
Puck drop is after 7 p.m. MT on the Flames website and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

Projected lineups

It’s a home pre-season game for the Flames, so here’s a bunch of NHL regulars to reward fans for navigating all the construction in and around Stampede Park!
Projected Flames lines (via Pat Steinberg):
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Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Tyler Toffoli
Mikael Backlund – Nazem Kadri – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Kevin Rooney – Trevor Lewis
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Mitch McLain
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Nikita Zadorov – MacKenzie Weegar
Ilya Solovyov – Michael Stone
Jacob Markstrom starts in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf.
It’s the first pre-season appearance for Kadri, Solovyov and Markstrom. Backlund being on the wing may be odd, but I would imagine he’s there (a) to give Andrew Mangiapane a bit more time to get ready for game reps and (b) to take face-offs so Kadri can ease himself into game action.
Projected Oilers lines (via Bob Stauffer)
Holloway – McLeod – Foegele
Janmark – Shore – Ryan
Benson – Malone – Virtanen
Esposito – McKegg – Petrov
Murray – Barrie
Niemelainen – Demers
Samorukov – Kemp
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Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard are the listed goaltenders.

Unavailable Flames

A handful of Flames regulars and prospects aren’t playing tonight:
  • 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
  • Brett Ritchie, Martin Pospisil and Emilio Pettersen all were held out of Monday’s on-ice sessions due to minor injuries and didn’t play on Tuesday in Seattle
  • Oliver Kylington is on personal leave from the team
Mangiapane and Tanev are listed with the game group, but they weren’t part of the line rushes that Steinberg (or other media members) shared on social media.

What to watch

For the home side, it’s three forward lines and two defensive pairings worth of regular NHLers who will definitely be on the team on Oct. 13. But perhaps keep your eyes on how Stone does on a pairing with AHL depth defender Solovyov. On the fourth line, Sutter and McLain both scored goals against Vancouver on Sunday – Sutter in Calgary and McLain in Vancouver – and so these two AHL-signed veterans get rewarded with more pre-season game action.