Nineteen days ago, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames opened the 2010-2011 regular season with a Battle of Alberta that left Oilers fans with a strong sense that their path back to the post-season would be paved with goals and shutouts. Backed by an unbeatable Nikolai Khabibulin, the Oilers capitalized on a Flames team that couldn’t put two good passes together and walked away with a 4-0 win. Oilers fans got their highlight goal, and some fodder pub conversation with Jordan Eberle’s first NHL goal.
Nine days later, the Oilers showed up on the Flames doorstep looking for their 3rd win of the season. After suffering a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Wild a couple days earlier, the Oilers were “looking to get back on track” and back into the win column. However, the Flames got the better of them that night, winning 5-3 and sending the Oilers onto a 4-game losing streak. The first line of the Flames woke up in that second game and lit up the Oilers for 8 points. Perhaps we have the Oilers to thank for all our success so far, because Iggy, Stajan and Tanguay haven’t looked back since.
Tonight’s Battle of Alberta will be no different than any one in the past. On any given night, either team can win, and the team that gets the 2 points tonight will be the team that plays with the most effort. Calgary will surely be looking for more goals from the red-hot Rene Bourque, who has scored 5 goals in the last 2 games. Oilers fans will be looking to Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and possibly Dustin Penner and Jordan Eberle to provide their offensive punch.
The Flames lines are out. No changes other than Staios is back in and Mikkelson will be sitting in the press box after a less than stellar game on Sunday. As expected, Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start in net.
Robyn Regehr – Ian White
Jay Bouwmeester – Steve Staios
Mark Giordano – Cory Sarich
Alex Tanguay-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla
Niklas Hagman-Olli Jokinen-Rene Bourque
Curtis Glencross-Mikael Backlund-Brendan Morrison
Craig Conroy-Stefan Meyer-Tim Jackman
The game starts at 7pm and is on Sportsnet West. For your reading pleasure, here is all the Flames action on Twitter: