Oilers wrap up 2008 in Calgary against the Flames
EDMONTON OILERS (17-15-3) at
CALGARY FLAMES (21-11-4)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MST
Television: TSN (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
LINEUP UPDATES: Gilbert Brule was not in Calgary for the optional morning skate but it looks like he will probably slot in on the third line with Moreau and Cogliano, replacing Pouliot... Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Flames Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
It was bound to happen for the Senators sooner or later and, unfortunately, it happened against the Oilers.
The Ottawa Senators broke their 12-game road losing streak Tuesday night at Rexall Place but the Edmonton Oilers (17-15-3) have no time to hang their heads if they’re to finish 2008 with a bang. They’ll regroup in transit and take on the Calgary Flames (21-11-4) in a New Years Eve Battle of Alberta and they’ll again be without their leading scorer, Ales Hemsky
Hemsky’s loss couldn’t have come at a worse time because the Calgary Flames are blazing hot. The Northwest Division leaders haven't lost in regulation since Dec. 9, going 5-0-3 in that span. The Flames are looking for their fourth straight win.
Edmonton last played Calgary in their second home game of the season—a 3-2 come-from-behind win that extended the Oilers’ season-starting win-streak to four games. The Oilers also took the two teams’ first meeting of the season—a 4-3 win on Oct. 17 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Edmonton will have the next two days off before kicking off a five-game homestand that starts with the Dallas Stars on Saturday, Jan. 3.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH: Gilbert Brule
will get the call back to the Big Club and will try to make the most of his second go-round this season. He has no points in two games with the Oilers this season and has scored 11-5-16 in 19 games with the Springfield Falcons...Shawn Horcoff
is riding three-game point scoring streak including two assists last night vs. the Sens. He has 12 goals and 12 assists in 38 games against Calgary...Since missing a game due to a sore wrist, Ethan Moreau has dropped the gloves and scored a goal. He will step it up for the Battle of Alberta.
FLAMES TO WATCH:
Perennially among the NHL’s best, Jarome Iginla is having another fantastic season and leads the Flames in goals, assists and points with 16-24-40 in 36 games. He's scoreless in his last two games but has scored 21-34-55 in 66 games versus the Oilers...Daymond Langkow had a goal and an assist in the last meeting and has scored 18-15-33 in 46 games versus Edmonton. He’s got 10 goals and 16 assists on the season and three points in his last two games.
(upper body injury) will likely miss tonight’s game and is day-to-day; Marc Pouliot (mild concussion) is doubtful. Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out; Fernando Pisani (ankle) is out. Calgary—Brandon Prust (fractured jaw) is out; Jim Vandermeer
(fractured left foot) is out; Rhett Warrener (shoulder) is out.
Tonight’s game is the third New Years Eve game between the Flames and Oilers...the Calgary Flames have won their last three New Years Eve games including two over Edmonton...Calgary has played at home on New Years Eve 17 of the past 21 years... Sheldon Souray
received his 900th career penalty minute last night.
Last Night's Post-Game Video...
Last Night's Post-Game Audio...
Oilers recall Gilbert Brule
- General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have recalled centre Gilbert Brule
from the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. Brule will be making his second... ...more
The Other Side
- Flames Plays of the Week: 12/29 - Every week throughout the 2008-09 season, you will get the chance to vote for the Flames Play of the Week! This week's matchup includes Rene Bourque's hat trick goal, Brett Sutter's first NHL goal and David Moss' 11th goal against the Ducks ...more
Odds and Ends
- Oilers players make their Skills Competition predictions - We spoke with a number of different Oilers players and asked them who they thought would win each event at this Sunday's Edmonton Oilers Skills Competition, Powered by McDonald's. Follow the link to watch the videos. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames would like to ring out 2008 with their first win of the season over the Edmonton Oilers.
The latest installment of the "Battle of Alberta" will take place on Wednesday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome, where the surging Flames meet the Oilers in the final game of the calendar year.
Calgary (21-11-4) is looking for its fourth straight win and sixth in seven games. The Flames are coming off a 2-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday as Eric Nystrom scored short-handed - his first goal in 25 games - with just over 11 minutes left to snap a 1-1 tie and delight the sellout crowd of 19,289.
"I don't score too many goals so to get that type of reception, everyone was so excited," said Nystrom, who registered his second goal this season. "I just had the adrenaline pumping right through me, it was awesome."
Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves for his league-leading 21st win. Though he's yet to beat Edmonton in two tries this season, Kiprusoff has been pretty successful regardless.
On Oct. 17, Kiprusoff gave up three Edmonton goals in a 9:35 span of the second period en route to a 4-3 loss in Calgary. The next night, he again struggled in the second, allowing three goals less than four minutes apart as the Oilers went on to sweep the home-and-home set with a 3-2 win.
Those defeats were part of a season-opening five-game stretch in which he went 1-3-1 with a 4.37 goals-against average. After that, Kiprusoff has gone 20-7-2 with a 2.53 GAA. He's also won six of his last seven road starts, posting a 2.12 GAA.
For the Flames to finally get a win over their bitter provincial rivals, they'll need captain and Edmonton native Jarome Iginla to rediscover his scoring touch.
Iginla tied a season-high with four points on Dec. 16 in a win over St. Louis. Though he's managed only three assists in five games after that, Iginla still leads Calgary with 16 goals and 24 assists.
When Iginla has at least one point in Calgary against his hometown team during his career, the Flames have gone 11-5-1 with two ties. If he's held off the scoresheet, Calgary has gone 5-8-0 with a tie.
The Oilers (17-15-3) may have been caught looking ahead to this game. They rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits, but their three-game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday with a 3-2 loss to Ottawa that gave the Senators their first win away from Canada's capital in 13 games.
"We didn't start as sharply as we needed to," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.
Ethan Moreau and Liam Reddox scored, and Shawn Horcoff had two assists for Edmonton, which trails Calgary by nine points in the Northwest.
Mathieu Garon faced only five Ottawa shots in the third period, but surrendered Brian Lee's first NHL goal with 8:28 left for the winning margin.
Garon and rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, currently in the minors, have beaten Calgary this season. But with Garon having allowed nine goals en route to losing his last three starts, Dwayne Roloson - winner of three straight starts - could see his first action this season versus the Flames, a team he's struggled against in their building.
In 14 starts against the team he began his career with, Roloson has a 2.47 GAA, but is 3-8-0 with three ties.
A player Calgary may want to focus on stopping is Andrew Cogliano. Edmonton's second-year center has only 10 goals in 35 games this season, but has found the back of the net once in each game against the Flames.