6
5
14/09/2013
FINAL SO
1 2 3 SO T
Calgary Flames CGY 1 1 3 1 (2-2) 6
35 SHOTS 31
32 FACEOFFS 30
17 HITS 16
10 PIM 10
1/5 PP 1/5
12 GIVEAWAYS 8
9 TAKEAWAYS 7
19 BLOCKED SHOTS 11
         

PREVIEW: Flames at Oilers

Wednesday, 06.08.2014 / 4:49 AM

AT THE MORNING SKATE

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers open the home and road portions of their pre-season schedule tonight as the team plays the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place at 8:00 p.m. MDT and also at the Saddledome in Calgary at 7:00 p.m. MDT.

The crew playing in Edmonton is a little bit more experienced up front than the team travelling south with some intriguing line combinations, particularly Taylor Hall down the middle between Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth.

"The centre position is definitely a lot different from what I've experienced at left wing. Just having the puck in the middle of the ice and being able to create on both sides instead of just on my right side is a bit of a change for me but I felt that in the third period (in the scrimmage yesterday) I made a nice play there," Hall began.

"Even though it's a scrimmage you just kind of build your game as it goes along. I didn't really expect to be lights out to start the experiment but I feel it's going along well and we'll see how it goes tonight."

Associate Coach Keith Acton talked further about Hall moving to centre to open the exhibition campaign.

"I thought yesterday in the scrimmage that he did fine. It's a little bit of an adjustment for him. We're going to do some things that are different as far as defensive play in our own zone and as a centreman normally that's a little different than being a winger," Acton said. "The way we're going to play coming back into our own end, it's not always going to be the centreman that's going to be the low forward. It's the first guy back and he's going to stay the low forward.

"That's not completely foreign to him. He has a certain foundation in that area. It's just that as a centreman there's the odd time that there's a switch where you want to be the guy that's down low instead of a winger if there's an opportunity to switch."

Acton added that face-offs were another consideration.

"He's a strong guy and he gets in good hockey position on the face-offs. He seems to have pretty good technique."

OMARK RETURNS

After playing for a year in Switzerland, Linus Omark makes his return to Rexall Place tonight on a line with Mark Arcobello and Nail Yakupov.

"It's going to be fun to have the Oilers jersey on again. I'm looking forward to the game," said Omark, adding that he felt the year overseas was good for him.

"I got to play a lot. I played big minutes in Switzerland. I needed that because my last year here I broke my ankle and I tried to find my game again and I think I did that there. The NHL has always been my goal so I'm happy to be back."

The winger also talked about what he felt he needed to do to crack the lineup here in Edmonton.

"I have to take it one day at a time and do my best out there, try to show the coaches that I'm a good player and hopefully play good in the games too. (I need to) work hard and play simple, too."

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

GAME PREVIEW

OILERS

FORWARDS

4 Taylor Hall

6 Jesse Joensuu

13 Mike Brown

23 Linus Omark

42 Marco Roy

51 Anton Lander

62 Mark Arcobello

64 Nail Yakupov

66 Ryan Martindale

71 Kyle Platzer

83 Ales Hemsky

94 Ryan Smyth

DEFENCE

19 Justin Schultz

21 Andrew Ference

37 Denis Grebeshkov

74 Darnell Nurse

87 David Musil

88 Brandon Davidson

GOALTENDERS

40 Devan Dubyk

38 Olivier Roy

LINES

Smyth - Hall - Hemsky

Omark - Arcobello - Yakupov

Joensuu - Lander - Roy

Platzer - Martindale - Brown

Davidson - J.Schultz

Nurse - Ference

Musil - Grebeshkov

LINE COMBOS: Taylor Hall will be playing centre tonight between Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky. Mark Arcobello will also get an opportunity to pivot an offensive line as he plays with Linus Omark and Nail Yakupov.

Jesse Joensuu makes his Rexall Place debut with Anton Lander as his middleman and Marco Roy on the opposite wing and Kyle Platzer skates with Ryan Martindale and Mike Brown on the fourth line.

ON THE BLUELINE: The Oilers will have a younger and less-experienced blueline than the one that is headed down to Calgary. Brandon Davidson and Justin Schultz will skate together as well as Oilers 2013 first-round pick Darnell Nurse and free-agent acquisition Andrew Ference. Denis Grebeshkov makes his return to Rexall Place to play with former Oil King David Musil.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Starting in goal for the Oilers tonight will be Devan Dubnyk. He will be backed up by Olivier Roy.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Taylor Hall will be a player most fans have their eyes on tonight as he plays centre out of camp for the first time in his Oilers career. Coming off of shoulder surgery the previous summer, he actually had a chance to build up strength this off-season and it will be interesting to see what he can do.

FLAMES

FORWARDS

15 Tim Jackman

16 Brian McGrattan

17 Lance Bouma

21 Roman Horak

24 Jiri Hudler

32 Paul Byron

38 Ben Street

39 T.J. Galiardi

47 Sven Baertschi

58 Ben Hanowski

60 Markus Granlund

86 Josh Jooris

DEFENCE

4 Kris Russell

6 Dennis Wideman

27 Derek Smith

44 Chris Butler

61 Brett Kulak

73 Keegan Kanzig

GOALTENDERS

29 Reto Berra

31 Karri Ramo

LINE COMBOS: Oilers fans will get a look at new Flames off-season acquisition T.J. Galiardi on the Calgary top line tonight. Galiardi will centre Sven Baertschi and Jiri Hudler. Ben Hanowski, acquired from Pittsburgh last season in the Jarome Iginla trade, will also play in Edmonton tonight. He will be on the left side with Roman Horak down the middle and Tim Jackman on the right.

Ben Street centres Lance Bouma and Josh Jooris on line three while rookie camp standout Markus Granlund centres Paul Byron and Brian McGratton on line four.

ON THE BLUELINE: The duo of Dennis Wideman -- sporting a new number this season (6) - and Chris Butler will be expected to anchor this Flames squad tonight. Brett Kulak and Kris Russell make up the second pairing while Keegan Kanzig and Derek Smith are in the 5-6 spot.

BETWEEN THE PIPES: Starting in goal for the Flames tonight will be Karri Ramo. Ramo spent the last four seasons playing in the KHL and put up some very impressive numbers with goals-against averages of 2.11, 1.97, 1.96 and 2.00 as well as save percentages of .913, .925, .925 and .929. Swiss netminder Reto Berra is the backup.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Hanowski scored 17 goals and had 31 points in 37 games last season with the St. Cloud Huskies (WCHA) before joining the Flames at the end of the season. In five games in Calgary, Hanowski had one goal. He will be among the many players with a shot at cracking this team's roster and will get a chance to showcase his skills tonight on the second line.

Markus Granlund had an outstanding rookie tournament in Penticton with three goals and four points, including a pair of markers against the Oilers rookies.

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