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Flames look to pull ahead in Battle of Alberta

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:48 AM


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Flames look to pull ahead in Battle of Alberta
Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

OILERS (2-4-0) at FLAMES (5-3-0)


Season series -- This is the third of six meetings between the teams. The Oilers earned a 4-0 victory at Rexall Place in the season opener, but the Flames answered with a 5-3 victory in Calgary nine days later.

Projected Flames lines:

Tanguay - Stajan - Iginla

Hagman - Jokinen - Bourque

Glencross - Backlund - Morrison

Meyer - Conroy - Jackman

Regehr - White

Giordano - Sarich

Bouwmeester - Staios

Projected Oilers lines:

Paajarvi - Horcoff - Eberle

Penner - Gagner - Hemsky

Hall - Brule - Cogliano

McIntyre - Fraser - Jones

Whitney - Gilbert

Smid - Strudwick

Foster - Peckham

Game day update -- After scoring five goals in the Flames last two games, all eyes were on Rene Bourque at the pregame skate but when the winger was commended for his play, he shrugged off his own performance.

"Our team has been playing a lot better," he said. "Everyone, as a group, has been picking up their game to a level that we need it be to be successful."

The Flames will see a slight change on the blueline as veteran Steve Staios will suit up against his former team. Head coach Brent Sutter said the move was in light of Brendan Mikkelson's performance against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

"I ddn't think Brendan had all that great of a game," he said. "There were some turnovers that we don't want to have in our own zone. He's still trying to figure out what we're doing with our system and how we're doing it. I felt a few more practices and getting a chance to watch a little bit would help him out in those areas."

Staios' last game was on Oct. 21 in the Flames 4-2 loss to the Red Wings and is looking forward to getting back into the action.

"It's a situation where I always have to stay ready so when I come in, I don't try to do too much. I think the case when you're not playing, you want to be in, you want to make an impact when you come back in but I need to stay within my game and play with intensity."

Big story -- Round 3 in the Battle of Alberta features two teams headed in opposite directions. The Flames have won two straight and four of five. The Oilers have lost four in a row after winning their first two games of the season.

Team Scope:

Oilers -- A lot was expected of the Oilers, who opened the season with talented rookies Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi. They've played well, but it hasn't been enough.

The big problem right now is the penalty killing. After killing all nine power plays in their first two games, the Oilers have allowed nine power-play goals in 18 opportunities.

"It's got to get fixed," Oilers coach Tom Renney told the Edmonton Sun. "It's very debilitating when you can stay with a team five-on-five and your specialty teams go out and can't get the job done."

Flames -- They've won two straight, and their most recent win might have been their most impressive. The Flames scored four first-period goals on their way to a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

"I thought we had a really solid game by everyone, but I thought our forwards especially, they played really well," Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr told the Calgary Sun. "They were skating well. They were finishing all their checks. They were providing a lot of pressure."

Who's hot -- Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney has 4 points in his last three games, all assists. … The Flames have been getting outstanding play from forward Bourque, who has 5 goals and an assist in his last two games, and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who has two shutouts in his last three starts.

Injury report -- For the Oilers, Theo Peckham has been dealing with a hand injury and is questionable. For the Flames, Daymond Langkow (neck), Ales Kotalik (knee), David Moss (shoulder), Raitis Ivanans (concussion) and Adam Pardy (shoulder) are out.

Stat pack -- Eight of the Oilers' next 10 games are on the road. … Nikolai Khabibulin is one of five goalies to have played every game for their teams this season.

Puck drop -- "Penalty killing is a mission. Guys that get a chance to do that, on the good teams, those players take it so seriously, they're so embraced with the concept of being a good penalty killer that they're so successful. We've got to get to that point." -- Oilers coach Tom Renney

2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 06 '11 EDM 1 at CGY 6 J. Iginla
Mar 26 '11 CGY 5 at EDM 4 - SO A. Tanguay
Jan 01 '11 CGY 2 at EDM 1 M. Giordano
Oct 26 '10 EDM 4 at CGY 5 - SO A. Tanguay
Oct 16 '10 EDM 3 at CGY 5 J. Iginla
Oct 07 '10 CGY 0 at EDM 4 G. Brule
R. Whitney7088+0000
A. Hemsky7325+2010
J. Eberle7325+1200
S. Horcoff7325+0221
D. Penner7314+01610
M. Paajarvi7224+1600
S. Gagner7044+2700
T. Gilbert7213+1800
R. Jones7112-1700
K. Foster7112-4810
T. Peckham6022+2900
J. Vandermeer6022+0400
G. Brule7101-21211
L. Smid7011+1400
C. Fraser7011-12600
A. Cogliano7011-2000
T. Hall7011-4400
Z. Stortini4000-2500
S. MacIntyre3000+0500
J. Strudwick2000-2500
N. Khabibulin72-4-1232313.29.900
B. Morrison9369+4410
R. Bourque7628+1613
A. Tanguay9347+1000
J. Iginla9246-1711
M. Stajan7066+2200
N. Hagman9314-1610
C. Glencross9224+3800
M. Backlund9224+2000
I. White9134-2600
R. Regehr9033+4200
O. Jokinen9033+0900
C. Conroy8202+0201
J. Bouwmeester9112+3810
M. Giordano9022+4900
C. Sarich6022+3000
S. Meyer9011-1700
T. Jackman9011-32100
B. Mikkelson7011-2700
B. Sutter4011-1500
S. Staios5000-2600
T. Brodie3000-3200
A. Pardy2000+0400
R. Ivanans1000-1500
M. Kiprusoff85-3-0192262.35.916
H. Karlsson11-0-02222.00.909