TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (30-42-7, 67 pts. 4-6 in their last 10) vs Calgary Flames (32-40-6, 70 pts. 4-5-1 in their last 10)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 8:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: CBC – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
As the Oilers and Flames are set to take the ice at Rexall place for the final time, many fans are reminiscing over the historic battles the two teams shared on Edmonton’s ice.
Tonight, the Oilers look to put that behind them as they prepare to play in their first game since Monday night. The way the end of the season has been set up for Edmonton has been less than favourable. With only three games in a week and a half, the team has had some time to get healthy for the last few games.
Adam Pardy returns to the lineup tonight, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is closing in on his return after suffering a concussion.
“It’s interesting,” said McLellan [on the teams long downtime]. “We whined and bitched about not having it and now we’re talking about having it. We had a rhythm going. Every second night for a month and a half we had that rhythm. We were able to rest. We were able to get a couple players healthy or at least healthy enough to play. We had two really good practices. How will we start, will we be rusty? I hope not. I don’t think there’s any reason why we should be. I think this is a good approach for us because if you happen to be lucky enough in the playoffs and win early and wait for another team to play, you’re usually taking four or five days off and you’ve got to be ready to play again. We’re trying to create those moments I guess, without being in the playoffs.”
The team can’t look to take any nights off despite the fact they are near the bottom of the league. These games the Oilers play between now and the end of the season will be important as it affects the way the team could look going into next season.
Zack Kassian, Iiro Pakarinen, Luke Gazdic, Adam Cracknell, Adam Pardy, Jordan Oeterle and Adam Clendening are all in need of new contracts, according to General Fanager.
Until next year, Calgary…
Predictions for tonight:
- Oilers win 5-2.
- McDavid scores a hattrick.
- There will be over 50 minutes in combined penalties tonight.
This is the final game the Flames and Oilers will play at Rexall Place, where Edmonton has a 54-43-9-6 regular-season record against its provincial rival. Calgary is 1-5-0 in its past six games and is coming off road losses to the Anaheim Ducks (8-3) and Los Angeles Kings during a midweek trip. “Just all around, it’s been a tough year for us in our own division,” forward Mikael Backlund said after the loss to the Kings on Thursday. Frolik (upper body) is out, but is expected to return when the Flames host the Kings on Tuesday. Gaudreau returned Thursday after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Goalie Joni Ortio, who made 26 saves against Los Angeles, is expected to start. Calgary reassigned defenseman Brett Kulak to Stockton of the American Hockey League on Friday; he played two games in March.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Nail Yakupov
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Adam Cracknell – Anton Lander – Matt Hendricks
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Jordan Oesterle – Griffin Reinhart
Darnell Nurse – Adam Pardy
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Brandon Davidson (knee), Adam Pardy (hand), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (concussion).
Calgary Flames (Joni Ortio):
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Hunter Shinkaruk
Lance Bouma – Mikael Backlund – Joe Colborne
Micheal Ferland – Sam Bennett – Josh Jooris
Derek Grant – Matt Stajan – Brandon Bollig
TJ Brodie – Dougie Hamilton
Mark Giordano – Deryk Engelland
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jakub Nakladal
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