For the first time this season, the Calgary Flames (4-5-1, 9 points) play against the Edmonton Oilers (6-6-0, 12 points)! It’s the Battle of Alberta! The Oilers and Flames, combined, are below .500, so each club will be looking to use this game to get back on track. It’s as important a game can be this early in the season!

Oh, and the Flames are wearing their snazzy black Blasty reverse retro jerseys.

The action starts at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet’s national feed and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

For a view from the other side, check out OilersNation!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Lindholm – Dube
Gaudreau – Monahan – Bennett
Lucic – Backlund – Mangiapane
Rinaldo – Froese – Nordstrom

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Valimaki – Nesterov

(Updated! Simon and Leivo are the healthy scratches.)

Jacob Markstrom starts for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. It sounds like Dominik Simon is the odd man out, with Derek Ryan nursing an injury, and newly recalled Byron Froese slots in. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Connor Mackey, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone and Zac Rinaldo. (Geoff Ward declined to comment on anything lineup or line-related, so we’ll see how things look during warm-up.)

The Flames have lost two in a row, and have been mired in a cycle of win one, lose one since the season began. They’ve been critical of their ability to play a consistent 60 minute game, and of their own emotional investment. Playing against the Oilers, it’s a huge test of mettle for a team that likely feels that they haven’t put their best foot forward yet this season.

The Oilers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Kahun – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Neal – Turris – Kassian
Khaira – Archibald

Nurse – Barrie
Lagesson – Larsson
K. Russell – Bouchard

Mikko Koskinen starts for Edmonton, backed up by Stuart Skinner. The extras are Alex Chiasson, Gaetan Haas and Caleb Jones. Their taxi squad is Tyler Ennis, Joakim Nygard, Dylan Wells, Devin Shore and Patrick Russell.

After sliding a bit earlier on, the Oilers have won three in a row and gotten back to .500. They’ll be hoping to maintain their momentum and take two points away from a key division rival.

As always, keep your eyes peeled for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. They’re both really good.

The numbers

Calgary Edmonton
Wins 4 6
Points (%) 9 (.450) 12 (.500)
Adjusted Corsi For 51.8% 47.9%
Expected Goals 53.9% 50.8%
Power Play 22.7% 27.3%
Penalty Kill 80.0% 73.2%

The drive to 65

If you peruse most standings projections, it becomes apparent that 65 points probably gets you into the playoffs. That’s a 32-23-1 record, or thereabouts, or a .580 points percentage.

The Flames have a 4-5-1 record and nine points. To hit 65 points, they need 56 points in their remaining 46 games – the equivalent of a .609 points percentage.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Derek Ryan.

The Oilers are without Oscar Klefbom, Mike Smitih and Ethan Bear.

When last we met

The Oilers thumped the Flames 8-3 back on Feb. 1 last year. It was a wild game. There was a goalie fight. The Flames didn’t play particularly well, at all.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

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