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EDMONTON OILERS (38-34-9) at
CALGARY FLAMES (45-30-6)
Start Time: 8:10 p.m. MDT
Television: CBC (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.Today's Game Notes | Oilers/Flames Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison Oilers Twitter Lineup Updates:
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
The final game of the 2008-09 season for the Edmonton Oilers...how soon it has come, indeed, too soon.
But as the Oilers showed last night in their final home game of the season, there is always something to play for.
Not only did the Oilers beat the Flames who are battling for the Northwest division lead, but they did it handily by a score of 5-1 with goals from the newest Oilers, Ales Kotalik and Patrick O’Sullivan, as well as Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray and Steve MacIntyre who was playing in his 21st career game. Yet it was Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers who grabbed the first star honours with his 31 save, one goal performance.
With the win, the Oilers managed to finish over .500 at home and left Rexall Place on a positive note, something the fans acknowledged at the end of the game.
Tonight the Edmonton Oilers (38-34-9) round out the season versus the Calgary Flames (45-30-6) at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Flames still have a chance at the Northwest division title—they’d take top spot if they win tonight and if Vancouver loses in regulation.
Edmonton leads the season series with a 3-1-1 record.
Just The Facts...
The Other Side: Flames interviews with Iginla, Pardy, Kiprusoff, Cammalleri & head coach Mike Keenan Friday's Post-Game Audio: Steve MacIntyre Taylor Chorney Sheldon Souray Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers Craig MacTavish
Tencer: Looking ahead to the off-season - In this edition of Dan Tencer's Blog, the 630 CHED broadcaster looks ahead to the off-season and the numerous questions which will be raised. ...more
The Other Side - news from calgaryflames.com
Flames foiled in chase for first - Mike Cammalleri scored the Flames' lone goal, as Calgary ended their regular-season road schedule with a 5-1 loss to their inter-province rivals the Edmonton Oilers Friday night at Rexall Place. Photo Gallery | Game Highlights | ...more Flames use short bench - Adrian Aucoin could only shake his head in disbelief when asked if he had ever, in his 13 seasons in the National Hockey League, seen a team use just 15 skaters in a game. But that's what the Flames did on Friday in Edmonton. ...more Battle of Alberta Gallery - The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers put in another Battle of Alberta Friday in Edmonton. They'll go at it again Saturday in Calgary. Check out the photos of the game from Edmonton. ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
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 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 are headed to the postseason, but injuries and a lackluster power-play unit already threaten to make their playoff run a short one.
The Flames will have one final chance to deal with one issue and address the other on Saturday night when they close out a home-and-home set and the regular season against the Edmonton Oilers at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
Calgary skated with only three lines in a 5-1 loss at Edmonton on Friday in the latest chapter of the "Battle of Alberta." Michael Cammalleri's team-high 37th goal with 7:18 to play prevented the Flames from being blanked for the fourth time since March 25.
Short-handed Calgary (45-30-6) was without defensemen Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr (lower-body) and Cory Sarich (foot). The hard-hitting Phaneuf, whose injury wasn't disclosed, is expected back for this contest.
"We were missing some key players, which was tough," said Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. "But it can't be used as an excuse. It was a huge game for us and we didn't play that strong."
The Flames have won at least 42 games for the fifth straight season and are still in the mix for their first Northwest Division title since 2005-06, but they could be relegated to the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference by the time they hit the ice.
The Canucks will play last-place Colorado earlier Saturday in Denver, and need one point from that contest to win the division and secure the third seed. If Vancouver loses and the Flames win in regulation, both teams would finish with 98 points but Calgary would take the division because it has one more victory.
"We lost control of our situation tonight," Calgary captain Jarome Iginla said. "We have to wait and see what Vancouver does now. That's unfortunate from our side. Hopefully, we still have an opportunity to win our division."
A bigger problem for the Flames is their inability to score with the man advantage. After going 0-for-4 against the Oilers, Calgary hasn't scored in its last 40 power-play opportunities over nine games.
Mike Keenan's club has managed 11 goals in that span en route to a 3-6-0 record.
Kiprusoff, the NHL's leader with 45 wins, stopped 28 of 31 shots Friday before being lifted for Curtis McElhinney. Kiprusoff is 26-8-4 with a 2.55 goals-against average at home this season, and has given up eight goals while going 1-1-0 there against the Oilers.
Edmonton (38-34-9), which is out of the playoffs for the third straight season, wanted to show the fans that it was playing for more than pride.
"Obviously we wanted to have a strong effort to finish at home, especially against Calgary," said Ales Kotalik, who opened the scoring with his 20th goal. "We wanted to show that we still care and have heart and we did that tonight."
After watching 39-year-old Dwayne Roloson make 36 consecutive starts, rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers stopped 31 shots for his fourth win and first since beating the New York Rangers on Nov. 10.
Deslauriers, who will also likely be in net for the season finale, is 4-2-0 with a 2.64 GAA as a starter this season. He made 26 saves Oct. 17 in the Oilers' 4-3 win at Calgary.
Edmonton defenseman Denis Grebeshkov had two assists Friday. He's totaled four assists and five points in his last two visits to the Saddledome.
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