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CALGARY FLAMES (1-2-1) at
EDMONTON OILERS (3-0-0)
Start Time: 8:08 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 by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
The Oilers have played progressively better in each of their first three games and will look to continue the trend tonight in the second half of a Battle of Alberta home-at-home.
The powerplay was hot for Edmonton last night as the Oilers scored three goals with the man advantage to up their total to five PPG in three games. They now sit third in the conference at 38.5%.
LAST GAME: Oilers 4, Flames 3 Yet the inevitable Battle of Alberta rough play has taken a toll on the Oilers. Sheldon Souray will sit tonight after colliding with Todd Bertuzzi. The knee injury is not expected to be serious and Ladislav Smid will get the call in Souray’s stead. Sam Gagner will be a game-time decision after he slid awkwardly into the boards last night. He’ll undergo tests this afternoon and Marc Pouliot will most likely take his place.
On the plus side, Edmonton’s new faces have been paying immediate dividends. Erik Cole scored his first, a PP tip-in, and Lubomir Visnovsky chipped in his second on the season, a slap shot blast to the top corner. Also, Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers picked up his first NHL win in his first start.
Tonight’s matchup versus the Flames is the second of six games this season. Last year, the Alberta teams split the season series 4-4.
Just The Facts...
The Tencer Report: 630 CHED's Dan Tencer previews tonight's game Pre-game interviews with Ladislav Smid, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson and Craig MacTavish. Pre-Game Audio... Oct. 18: Bob Stauffer and Mike Rogers
Oct. 18: Pre-game vs. Calgary - Ladislav Smid
Oct. 18: Pre-game vs. Calgary - Andrew Cogliano
Oct. 18: Pre-game vs. Calgary - Robert Nilsson
Oct. 18: Pre-game vs. Calgary - Craig MacTavish
Oct. 18: Pre-game vs. Calgary: Listen to all (in order): Smid, Cogliano, Nilsson and MacTavish.
Lowe named to Canadian Olympic Team - Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations, Kevin Lowe has been named an Associate Director of Canada’s National Men’s Olympic Team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. ...more
The Other Side
Inside the Game: Penalty woes - The Calgary Flames will need to stay out of the penalty box Saturday if they hope to gain a split in back-to-back games against Edmonton. Penalties were the downfall Friday in a 4-3 loss at the 'Dome. ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
Ask an Oiler: Steve Staios - Steve Staios will be our guest on Ask an Oiler next Thursday. Follow the link to ask him a question! ...more Oilers in Jasper - Watch Friday's episode of The Link to see a behind-the-scenes look at the team's trip to Jasper. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers won the opening round of the "Battle of Alberta" on the road, thanks in large part to opportunistic special teams play and a rookie goaltender looking like a seasoned veteran in his first NHL start.
The Calgary Flames would be more than happy to return the favor by pinning the first loss of the season on their provincial rivals.
On Saturday night, unbeaten Edmonton plays host to Calgary at Rexall Place in the back end of their home-and-home set.
"In today's game, you have to be disciplined in the amount of penalties that you take," said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish.
Five of the Oilers' 10 goals have come with the man advantage.
Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers started in place of Mathieu Garon, and finished with 26 saves to help the Oilers continue their best start since winning their first five games in 1985-86.
"It's always something special when you have your first NHL start. You think you know what to expect but it's something very different, the feeling is unbelievable," Drouin-Deslauriers said. "The guys played amazing today, they played hard, they were everywhere. They helped me with every aspect of my game. It was a big team win."
Calgary (1-2-1) got goals from Adrian Aucoin, David Moss and Todd Bertuzzi, who's been carrying the scoring load early for the Flames. He has four goals in his last three games after tallying just 14 in 68 games last season with Anaheim.
"We know we were right in this game, it was two points that we lost that I think we should have had so we're going to get on the plane, get to Edmonton, and have a good one tomorrow," Bertuzzi said.
A visit to his hometown may help Jarome Iginla shake his early-season slump. Iginla has one goal and two points so far after he led Calgary with 50 goals and 98 points in 2007-08.
The Flames' all-time goal-scoring leader has failed to record a point in his last two games in Edmonton, but has 12 goals and 14 assists in 32 games there.
The Oilers and Flames split four games at Rexall last season, continuing a pattern that has highlighted this series. The teams have split their last 22 games in Edmonton since the 2000-01 season, and this will be the first time they're meeting on consecutive nights in 16 years.
Garon should be back in goal for the Oilers. He's allowed one goal en route to winning his last two games against the Flames in Edmonton, including a 5-0 victory on Feb. 4 in which he made 24 saves.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots for Calgary on Friday, and has given up 19 goals in four games in 2008-09. Over his last five games in Edmonton, though, Kiprusoff is 4-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA and one shutout.
Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray, who had two assists on Friday, suffered an undisclosed injury and didn't play in the third period. His status for this game is not immediately known.
After signing a five-year contract, Souray appeared in only 26 games last season due to arm and shoulder injuries.