CALGARY FLAMES (7-8-3) at
EDMONTON OILERS (7-11-1)
8:08 p.m. MDT
630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers meet at Rexall Place for the first time this season. Tonight’s game will be seen on Hockey Night in Canada.
Both the Flames and Oilers are currently in a stretch of games where they’re playing eight straight games against teams within their own division. Calgary is 1-4-0 while Edmonton is 2-2-1. Both teams have played Minnesota twice, Vancouver and Colorado once each and one game against each other.
Edmonton's last game was a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Edmonton took a 2-1 lead in the second period on a pair of goals from Jarret Stoll but the Wild scored three unanswered to win the game.
Calgary finished October with their best start in six years but opened November with five straight losses. They were finally able to pull themselves out of that funk on Tuesday with a win against the Minnesota Wild.
This is the third meeting of the season between the Flames and Oilers. The previous two meetings were both at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary with the Flames winning 4-1 on October 20 and Edmonton rebounded to win 4-2 last Saturday.
Just The Facts...
LINEUP UPDATE (11:33 AM):
Kyle Brodziak did not take the morning skate but did say that he felt a lot better this morning. Instead, he rode the bike and will take part in the pre-game warm-up. If he feels he can play, he will replace Liam Reddox
in the lineup. "He's on the bike and we're going to see how he responds. He's a lot better today than he was yesterday. Yesterday we had very little hope that he'd play and now we have a little," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said Saturday morning... Mathieu Garon gets the start in goal tonight..
OILERS TO WATCH:
Oilers rookie Sam Gagner
seems to like playing against the Flames. In two games against Calgary, Gagner – whose father Dave Gagner played for Calgary – has two goals. The two goals are the only two he’s scored in his career to-date… Robert Nilsson, whose father Kent also played for Calgary, had two points (one goal, one assist) Friday in his first-ever game played at Calgary, his birthplace… Goaltender Mathieu Garon has been red hot. Last Saturday, he stopped 37 of 39 shots to lead Edmonton over the Flames and followed that up with a 1-0 shutout performance against Vancouver this past Wednesday. Garon also stopped all three Canucks he faced in the shootout… Shawn Horcoff
has two goals and three points in two games against the Flames.
FLAMES TO WATCH:
Despite Calgary’s struggles, Jarome Iginla is having another outstanding season. He is tied for fourth in the league with 25 points… Defenceman Dion Phaneuf has been a rock on defence for the Flames. He is tied with Iginla for the team lead in plus/minus at +7. Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff is still trying to find his game this season. He has started all 18 games for the Flames and has a 7-8-3 record with a 3.12 goals-against average and .887 save percentage. The former Vezina Trophy winner looked to be getting back into form with a 28 save effort in Calgary’s 3-2 win over the Wild.
Edmonton – Kyle Brodziak (knee) is questionable. Sheldon Souray
(shoulder) is out. Ethan Moreau (foot) is out. Joni Pitkanen (knee) is out. Matt Greene (ankle) is out. Mathieu Roy (shoulder) is out. Fernando Pisani (colitis) is out; Calgary – Rhett Warrener (strep throat) is expected to play, as is Adrian Aucoin. Wayne Primeau (ankle) is doubtful.
Edmonton’s power play is just below the 10% threshold but it’s been more successful against Calgary this season. The Oilers have a 16.7% efficiency rating in their two games against the Flames… Calgary’s power play has also been very good against Edmonton – 21.4%... The Flames have allowed 56 goals this season, ranking 25th in the league in goals against. Through 18 games, they’ve allowed 16 more goals this year compared to 2006-07. The team’s record of 7-8-3 is also slightly worse than last season when they were 9-7-2 after 18 games.
Reddox could make his NHL debut tonight -
With Brodziak's injury, Liam Reddox
is expected to make his NHL debut tomorrow against Calgary. If he does play, Reddox will have made a quick but steady transition from the ECHL to the AHL to the NHL in just over a season. ...more
Interviews from Friday...
- Will be available later today.
The Other Side
- Oilers vs. Flames Gameday Notes Stats, numbers and players to keep an eye on for tonight from calgaryflames.com ...more
- Flames Update There was a new look to the first line line at Calgary Flames practice on Friday. News, notes and more in the Flames Update. ...more
Item of the Game
Each game, a different item is featured at The Oilers Store at Rexall Place.
Tonight's item is Oilers Ice Mug (Reg: $19.99, Now $14.99).
Odds and Ends
- Hemsky is a building block for Oilers - (NHL.com Feature) When he touches the puck there’s a buzz in the crowd -- an electricity that something very special might be upcoming. ...more
- Christmas Packs Back for the Holidays - Edmonton Oilers Christmas Packs are back in time for the holiday season, with your chance to give the gift of hockey to the Oilers fan in your life. Follow the link to find out more information and to register. ...more
From the Wire
Behind a struggling offense and inconsistent goaltending, the Calgary Flames have been slumping. The Edmonton Oilers can relate.
After becoming the last team in the league to pick up a win this month, the Flames look to carry some momentum into their meeting Friday with the stumbling Oilers in a Northwest Division matchup.
Calgary (7-8-3) snapped a five-game losing streak with Tuesday's 3-2 victory over Minnesota as Kristian Huselius scored the winning goal with 53 seconds to play.
The Flames scored just seven goals during their skid, and had not won since defeating Nashville 5-1 on Oct. 30. Calgary hasn't won back-to-back games since Oct. 18 and 20.
"Confidence and momentum are two things that you need on your side in this game and you have to make sure you work hard to get them and then once you have them, you have to keep them," said forward Alex Tanguay, who has five goals and seven assists in his last nine games.
Jarome Iginla, who scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season on Tuesday, has five goals and four assists during a seven-game point streak. He has a goal and three assists in two games against the Oilers this season.
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff made 26 saves on Tuesday, earning his second win in seven starts since signing a $35 million, six-year contract extension Oct. 29. Kiprusoff, who has started every game for the Flames, has posted a 3.77 goals-against average in losing his last three road starts.
Both meetings between these teams this season have been in Calgary, with Kiprusoff stopping 17 shots in the Flames' 4-1 win on Oct. 20 before making 31 saves in their 4-2 loss last Saturday. Kiprusoff is 5-2-0 with a 1.86 GAA and one shutout against Edmonton since Dec. 31.
The Oilers (7-11-1) opened a season-high six-game homestand with a 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.
Edmonton has lost three straight at Rexall Place, and is just 4-13-1 there since Feb. 27.
Jarret Stoll had both goals Thursday for the Oilers, who outshot the Wild 40-25. Edmonton has been held to two goals or less in five of its last seven games.
"Two goals as a team is not enough with that many shots," Stoll said. "We have to find ways to score and bear down a little bit. We need the rebounds and screens and all those things."
The Oilers also are not getting solid play from goalie Dwayne Roloson.
The 38-year-old Roloson stopped 21 shots Thursday to not only lose his fifth straight game, but possibly his starting job. Roloson is 3-9-1 with a 3.21 GAA on the season, and is 5-20-2 since Feb. 25.
"He's not playing at the level he has played, that's obvious," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We can't win right now with average goaltending. I don't think there are many teams that can."
Roloson is being outplayed by backup Mathieu Garon, who has won two straight and is 4-2-0 with a 2.42 GAA on the season. Garon stopped 29 shots in a 1-0 shootout win over Vancouver on Wednesday, and he made 37 saves in last Saturday's win over Calgary.
Garon has posted a 1.67 GAA in winning his last three starts over the Flames, and is 4-2-0 with a 2.50 GAA against them lifetime.
Roloson had 30 saves in the Oilers' October loss to Calgary, and is 1-5-0 with a 3.70 GAA against the Flames since Dec. 31.