Game Preview: Flames vs Edmonton Oilers

CALGARY FLAMES (22-20-6 50 points) vs. EDMONTON OILERS (17-25-4 38 points) GAME #49

 

PREVIEW:

It’s been 8 games since the Flames last lost to the Edmonton Oilers as this rivalry has been heavily one sided in recent seasons. The Flames have won 15 of the last 16, including the last 3 and 6 out of 7 at Rexall Place. They will look to continue that streak tonight up north as they finish off their mini 3-game road trip.

The Flames are coming off a 2-1 shootout victory over the L.A Kings Thursday night, putting them only 2 points behind the 8th place Colorado Avalanche. It was the fourth consecutive game the Flames have only managed 1 regulation goal but due to stellar goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames have gone 2-1-1 in that span.

Offense will continue to be a concern tonight as it was revealed Curtis Glencross, who is tied for the Flames goal-scoring lead (18), will miss 6-8 weeks with a knee injury. Tough news for the Flames as Glencross has been one of the most consistent players for the Flames this season. News didn’t get much better this morning as Alex Tanguay, who revealed he has been out with a neck injury, will once again miss tonight’s game after there was some thought he would be able to return. It wasn’t all negative this morning as Brendan Morrison who has been out with an undisclosed injury will be a game-time decision. Regardless of who’s in and who’s out of the line-up, the Flames can’t use it as an excuse. GM Jay Feaster spoke candidly about injury excuses being b-s yesterday and I give him a lot of credit for doing it.

Hard work and consistent play is what the Flames have to focus on. Another thing Feaster addressed yesterday was the organizations attempt to improve the club’s depth and like Feaster, I agree they have done a good job doing that. Saying that, I mentioned this in my Thursday’s preview versus the Kings, players like Blake Comeau and Lee Stempniak have to start stepping up their offensive games.  

Even with the Flames recent dominance in this rivalry against the Oilers, tonight will be no guaranteed 2 points. The Oilers have started to get healthy as they will welcome back Taylor Hall back in the line-up after that gruesome warm up incident (see picture above). Strong goaltending from Kiprusoff is the norm, but getting some offense in front of him has to be the focus. I think the Flames need to start to get more pucks on net, looking for greasy tips and rebounds, really nothing unusual when it comes to Flames hockey. The Flames have to play desperate hockey from here on out as every game becomes more and more crucial.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                                    Oilers:

1-CAMMALLERI-BACKLUND-IGINLA                                       1-HALL-GAGNER-HEMSKY

2-COMEAU-JOKINEN-JACKMAN                                             2-SMYTH-HORCOFF-EBERLE

3-KOSTOPOULOS-JONES-STEMPNIAK                                 3-LANDER-BELANGER-JONES

4-BOUMA-HORAK-STAJAN                                                      4-EAGER-O’MARA-PAAJARVI

 

1-BOUWMEESTER-BUTLER                                                   1-SMID-POTTER

2-GIORDANO-HANNAN                                                           2-SUTTON-PETRY

3-BRODIE-SARICH                                                                  3-PECKHAM-TEUBERT

 

1-KIPRUSOFF                                                                          1-KHABIBULIN

2-IRVING                                                                                  2-DUBNYK

EXTRA- MORRISON                                                               EXTRA- GREEN, HORDICHUK

                                                                  

INJURIES:

Flames: LW- Curtis Glencross (Knee- IR), LW- Alex Tanguay (Upper Body- IR), C- David Moss (Lower Body-IR), D- Derek Smith (Ankle-IR), G- Henrik Karlsson (Knee-IR)

Oilers: C- Ryan Nugent Hopkins (Shoulder- IR), D- Tom Gilbert (Knee- IR), D- Ryan Whitney (Ankle- IR), D- Cam Barker (Ankle- IR), D- Taylor Fedun (Leg- IR)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Iginla

48

18

20

38

-3

O. Jokinen

48

12

24

36

-5

C. Glencross

45

18

15

33

-4

M. Cammalleri

41

10

13

23

-7

A. Tanguay

33

5

17

22

-3

 

Oilers

PLAYER

GP

GOALS

ASSISTS

POINTS

+/-

J. Eberle

42

17

26

43

1

R. Nugent-Hopkins

38

13

22

35

E

R. Smyth

46

15

17

32

-2

T. Hall

36

15

16

31

-3

S. Horcoff

46

8

15

23

-17

 

PP-

Flames: 17.4% (18th)

Oilers: 21.2% (3rd)

PK-

Flames: 82.6% (14th)

Oilers: 82.4% (16th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

WINS

LOSSES

OTL

POINTS

1. CHICAGO

48

29

13

6

64

2. VANCOUVER

47

28

15

4

60

3. SAN JOSE

44

26

13

5

57

4. DETROIT

46

31

15

1

63

5. ST. LOUIS

46

28

12

6

62

6. NASHVILLE

47

27

16

4

58

7. L.A

48

23

15

10

56

8. COLORADO

48

25

21

2

52

 

9. MINNESOTA

47

22

18

7

51

10. DALLAS

46

24

20

2

50

11. CALGARY

48

22

20

6

50

12. PHOENIX

48

21

19

8

50

13. ANAHEIM

45

16

22

7

39

14.EDMONTON

46

17

25

4

38

15. COLUMBUS

46

13

28

5

31

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Last ten games: Flames- 4-2-2, Oilers- 2-7-1
  • Miikka Kiprusoff has posted a 1.19 GAA during the Flames four consecutive games where they have scored 1 regulation goal. Kiprusoff has allowed 4 goals on the Flames current 3 game winning streak against the Oilers at Rexall.
  • The Oilers have struggled scoring goals as well, only scoring 6 in their last 6.
  • Nikolai Khabibulin, who will start tonight, could be what the Flames need to get out of their scoring funk. Khabibulin has allowed 10 goals in his last two match-ups and has a 3.98 in his last five starts against the Flames.
  • Along with Hall, the Oilers will also welcome back Eric Belanger to the line-up. Belanger had been day-to-day with a leg injury.
  • Jarome Iginla scored his 502nd career goal Thursday night, tying him for 40th place all-time with former Flames Joe Mullen. Iginla has been a big factor for the Flames recent success against the Oilers, recording 7 goals and 5 assists in his last five games.
  • Taylor Hall received 30 stitches after falling in warm up and being cut by teammate Corey Potter’s skate, Tuesday night in Columbus.
  • Since a 6-game winning streak from Oct 22-Nov 3, the Oilers have once again shown their youth with a 9-23-2 record.
  • The Flames sent forward Paul Byron and defensemen Brett Carson to the Abbotsford Heat as the club continues to get healthy.
  • Brent Sutter recorded his 200th career victory Thursday night versus the Kings.
  • Kiprusoff is 4 games away from becoming the Flames franchise leader in games played for a goaltender.