Preview: Flames at Oilers
CALGARY FLAMES (45-29-6) at
EDMONTON OILERS (37-34-9)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MDT
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Flames Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison
|Robert Nilsson's shot goes wide on Flames goaltender Curtis McElhinney. (Photo: AP)
Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
While the playoffs are out of the picture for the Oilers this season, there are still goals to shoot for, namely, the chance to help play spoiler for Calgary in the Flames’ chase for the Northwest Division title.
Tonight, the Oilers (37-34-9) will take on the Flames (45-29-6) in the last game at Rexall Place for the 2008-09 season.
Edmonton leads the season series with a 2-1-1 record with the lone regulation loss coming in Calgary on Oct. 17.
Calgary has seen their lead in the Northwest disappear as they’ve alternated win and losses for the past six games while Vancouver has steadily clawed into first place going 13-5-2 dating back to the beginning of March. The Flames lost to 4-1 the Canucks in their last game on Tuesday and trail Vancouver by two points for the division lead.
Looking to stymie the Flames will be Jeff-Drouin Deslauriers who’ll get his first start since Nov. 30 while Dwayne Roloson will get a much-needed rest after starting 36 consecutive games in goal.
“It’s great for Jeff to get an opportunity to play,” Roloson said. “Jeff’s a pro...I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”
But Roloson feels none the worse for wear after becoming the oldest player in NHL history to play 60 or more games in a season.
“I felt good all the way through,” he said. “I felt better in the second game that I did in the first game in those back-to-backs...when I was in college all our games were back-to-backs...you get used to it.”
Edmonton will close out the season tomorrow night in Calgary.
Just The Facts...
OILERS TO WATCH:
Jeff Drouin -Deslauriers gets his first start since Nov. 30. He is 3-2-0 with a 3.57 GAA and a .889 save percentage...In his second year, Tom Gilbert
is ninth among NHL defenceman with 40 assists. He has four assists in his last four games...Theo Peckham
, while finding himself on the scoresheet with multiple fighting majors, has yet to tally a point in 14 games.
FLAMES TO WATCH:
Mike Cammalleri is having a stellar season with 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points. He’s got three assists in his last two games and has scored 8-7-15 in 17 games vs. Edmonton...Jarome Iginla continues his consistent play scoring 35-54-89 on the season and has four goals in his last five games. He’s scored 24-37-61 in 68 games vs. the Oilers.
Edmonton—Lubomir Visnovsky (shoulder) is out. Ladislav Smid
(fractured hand) is out. Calgary—Robyn Regehr (lower body) is day-to-day; Andre Roy (upper body) is out; Mark Giordano (upper body) is out; Rene Bourque (ankle) is out; Wayne Primeau (broken foot) is out; Rhett Warrener (shoulder) is out.
Edmonton’s final two-game set is the 16th of back-to-back games for the Oilers in 2008-09...the Oilers are 7-8-0 in the first game and 8-6-1 in the second game... Edmonton was eliminated in its 80th game of the season marking the fourth time since 2001-02 that the Oilers were eliminated in the final three games of a season... Steve Staios is playing in his 532nd Oilers career game tonight, tying Paul Coffey for 17th place on the Oilers all-time list...Dwayne Roloson becomes the oldest goaltender in NHL history to appear in 60-or-more games... At 39 years, 170 days, Roloson surpasses former Oiler Curtis Joseph who was 38 years, 354 days old when he played 60 games for Phoenix in 2005-06...the Oilers are one of only two NHL teams to have four defencemen with 30-or-more points this season the other being San Jose.
Vote Moreau for NHL Hit of the Year
- Milan Lucic, Adam Pardy, Ethan Moreau, Brent Seabrook and Keith Ballard may not be household names, but they are still leaving their "impressions" on opposing players. Follow the link for more info and to vote for Moreau's hit as the NHL's best. ...more
The Other Side - news from calgaryflames.com
- Moss signs new deal with Flames - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the signing of forward David Moss. ...more
- Flames ready for strong finish - The Flames are confident they can keep their momentum while continuing to improve as they finish out the regular season with two games against the Oilers this weekend. ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- THE LINK: Off-Ice Officials and Oilers Ladies - In today's episode of The Link, we find out how the NHL Off-Ice Officials keep track of all those stats on a game night. We also take a look back on a great charitable season for the Oilers Ladies. ...more
- Gagner's Goal comes in at #1 in the NHL this week - Sam Gagner's goal on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks came in as the top-ranked goal in the NHL last week. Follow a link to watch Gagner's goal and the other nine runners-up. ...more
- New Wallpapers: Storts, Smid, Struds - We've got three new wallpapers to decorate your desktop, featuring Zack Stortini, Ladislav Smid & Jason Strudwick. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Calgary Flames missed a chance to secure their first Northwest Division title in four seasons. To clinch, they will attempt to take advantage of their provincial rival who will again miss the playoffs.
The Flames will also look for a more consistent effort as they finish the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers that begins Friday night at Rexall Place.
Vancouver's 1-0 win on Thursday over Los Angeles dropped Calgary (45-29-6) two points behind the Canucks in the Northwest and to fifth in the Western Conference. Vancouver has only Saturday's game against last-place Colorado remaining, and should the Canucks and Flames tie, Calgary holds the edge in victories.
However, Calgary couldn't win one of its most important games of the season Tuesday in Vancouver, getting only one of their 47 shots past Roberto Luongo in a 4-1 defeat. The Flames also failed on all six power-play chances, extending their drought to 0-for-36 over the last eight games.
Calgary also has been outscored 21-11 in dropping five of its last eight.
"Our power play needs to take a lot of blame and, also, Luongo was very good," said Jarome Iginla, who scored. "We threw a lot at him. They weren't just bad shots. We had a lot of good shots and, unfortunately, we didn't get more by him."
Iginla has four goals and two assists in the last six games and a team-best 89 points, but Olli Jokinen and Michael Cammalleri haven't been producing.
Jokinen had eight goals and two assists in his first six games after he was acquired in a March 4 trade with Phoenix, but has four assists in the past 11. Cammalleri, whose 36 goals lead Iginla by one, has scored two times with nine assists in the last 16 contests.
Iginla and Cammalleri set career highs with five points on Dec. 31 in a 6-4 home win over Edmonton - the first of two straight victories over the Oilers. The Flames also took a 3-2 shootout win at Rexall on Feb. 21 after dropping the season's first two meetings.
Miikka Kiprusoff has recorded all of Calgary's 45 wins this season, but has suffered through inconsistency in four April starts, giving up four goals in each of two losses and one in each of the last two wins. He has allowed 13 goals in four starts this season against the Oilers.
Edmonton (37-34-9) has been consistent over its last seven games, but not the kind the Oilers wanted. After moving to seventh in the West on March 20 with their third straight win, they have dropped seven of their last nine. A 2-1 loss to lowly Los Angeles on Tuesday night coupled with St. Louis' win over Phoenix eliminated Edmonton from the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The defeat dropped the Oilers to 1-4-0 on their season high six-game homestand.
"We faltered at the worst possible time of the year," captain Ethan Moreau said. "The last couple weeks we didn't get the results, regardless of how we played."
Fernando Pisani had the Oilers' goal, his third in six games.
The teams, who have split their last 12 meetings, finish the regular season Saturday in Calgary.