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EDMONTON OILERS (39-34-6) at
CALGARY FLAMES (40-27-10)
Start Time: 8:10 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com. Game Notes | Oilers/Flames Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics Despite failing to pick up two points last night in Denver, all is not lost for the Edmonton Oilers. With three games left in the regular season - beginning tonight in Calgary - the Oilers need to win out and get a little bit of help but they're not looking for a miracle.
The Oilers play Calgary tonight and again on Tuesday as well as Vancouver on Thursday. If they go 3-0 and both Vancouver and Nashville lose two of their final four games, Edmonton is in.
The Canucks play the Oilers, Flames twice and Avalanche. Nashville plays Detroit, St. Louis twice and Chicago. Considering both the Canucks and Predators have been playing at or below .500 hockey for the past month, it's certainly not a tall order.
All last night's shootout loss to Colorado did was eliminate the chance for error. While before, a shootout loss by Vancouver or Nashville would be as good as a regulation loss from Edmonton's perspective it would now be like a win.
LAST GAME: Avalanche 5, Oilers 4 (SO)
Calgary has not played since a 3-2 win over the Canucks on Tuesday night. Following that win, they moved into first place in the Northwest Division but while sitting idle for the past three days the Minnesota Wild have skated past them and into a three-point lead for top spot.
The Flames do hold two games in hand on the Wild and will make up one of those games tonight. With five games left in the season, the Flames likely need to win four to ensure themselves the number three seed and home ice advantage in the first round.
This is the seventh of eight meetings this season between the Oilers and Flames. Each team has won three times previously.
Just The Facts...
Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game at Calgary: Craig MacTavish The Other Side
Preview: Flames vs. Oilers - The Calgary Flames prepare for their final home game of the regular season tonight when they host the Edmonton Oilers in the last Battle of Alberta between the two provincial rivals. (8:00 p.m. MT, CBC and The FAN 960) ...more FlamesCast: The Craig Conroy Show - Flames forward Craig Conroy is back with another audio podcast and talks about the importance of relaxing away from the rink with family, friends and teammates during the drive to the playoffs. The Craig Conroy Show -- 28-03.08 | ...more Playoff race tracker - The playoff race in the Western Conference is as tight as ever. Heading into action Wednesday, the Flames were in first in the Northwest Division. We've put it all together in one spot -- see who plays who down the stretch on a team-by-team basis. ...more Flames TV: Rapid Fire with Eric Godard - Calgary Flames forward Eric Godard sits down with Mitch Nybo for our latest Rapid Fire question and answer session. 700K | ...more From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board. Odds and Ends
Playoff picture coming into focus - After picking up a point on Friday night, the Edmonton Oilers are now only two points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They can move into a tie with Nashville and Vancouver with a win on Saturday in Calgary. ...more Oilers Photo Blog brought to you by Bell - After picking up a point on Friday night, the Edmonton Oilers are now only two points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They can move into a tie with Nashville and Vancouver with a win on Saturday in Calgary. ...more From the Wire
The Calgary Flames' stay atop the Northwest Division didn't last long, but they'll have an opportunity to inch closer to the top spot when they face the rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday in their final home game of the regular season.
Calgary (40-27-10), which hasn't won the Northwest title since 2005-06, was able to temporarily capture the division lead with a 3-2 home victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night.
Captain Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow each had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who scored three unanswered goals to win for the third time in four games.
"We just kept coming," said Iginla, who has nine goals and five assists in his last nine games. "We didn't get discouraged, nobody got frustrated on the bench. We felt like we were going to find a way to get ourselves back in the game."
The victory helped Calgary pass Minnesota in the division, but while the Flames haven't played since then, the Wild have won twice to build a three-point advantage on both Calgary and Colorado in the Northwest.
Calgary can get to within one point of the lead with both Minnesota and Colorado idle until their matchup on Sunday.
The Flames, who have five games remaining, are closing in on securing their fourth straight postseason berth. They are currently in a three-way tie for fifth in the Western Conference, six points ahead of 10th-place Edmonton (39-34-6).
The Flames have won seven of their last nine at Pengrowth Saddledome, reeling off four straight victories there for their longest home winning streak since an eight-game run from Jan. 4-Feb. 3, 2007.
They're hoping to extend that success behind Miikka Kiprusoff, who won an NHL-leading 28 home games last season. He made 32 saves on Tuesday to improve to 7-0-2 with two shutouts and a 1.76 goals-against average in his last nine starts in Calgary.
Kiprusoff is 3-2-0 with a 1.81 GAA in five starts against the Oilers this season, leading the Flames to victory in two of three home games, including a 4-1 decision on Feb. 9 in the most recent contest.
Kiprusoff is 9-2-1 with a tie, a shutout and a 1.67 GAA in 13 all-time home games versus Edmonton, which has split the six-game series with the Flames.
The Oilers dropped the second contest on their three-game road trip Friday, 5-4 in a shootout at Colorado.
Tom Gilbert had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who hope to avoid their first three-game losing streak since Feb. 16-22.
Edmonton also fell two points behind Nashville and Vancouver for the eighth and final postseason spot in the West. The Oilers have three games left to reach the playoffs for the eighth time in 11 seasons.
"There is not much we can do, we have to prepare for another game, and quickly, too," defenseman Steve Staios said. "Maybe that is a good thing. We played a hard-fought, tough game (Friday), and it's disappointing, but it is up to everyone in here to pick ourselves up and be ready for tomorrow."
Dwayne Roloson, who made 32 saves on Friday, stopped 30 shots in a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Oct. 20 - his lone appearance of the season against his former team.
Roloson - 5-2-1 with a 3.20 GAA in his last eight overall starts - is 2-8-0 with three ties, one shutout and a 2.58 GAA in 13 visits to Calgary.