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Just 48 hours after a fairly bland performance against Vancouver, the Calgary Flames (8-7-1, 17 points) are back in action and have a big test on their hands in the form of the visiting Edmonton Oilers (10-8-0, 20 points). The Oilers are beginning to find their stride, and Connor McDavid continued to do good hockey things and hit 500 points in his last outing. The Flames need to play smart, structured two-way hockey because otherwise this could be a long night at the office.

The action starts at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One (and West) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

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

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Backlund – Mangiapane
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Dube
Lucic – Bennett – Ritchie
Nordstrom – Froese – Leivo

Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Tanev
Mackey-Valimaki

Update: No Monahan (lower body) for Flames. He, Nesterov and Simon come out, Froese, Mackey and Leivo come back in.

There was an optional morning skate, so we don’t know a ton about the lineup. But David Rittich starts, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. We’ll update our projected lines after warm-ups. The projected active extras are Byron Froese and Josh Leivo. The taxi squad is Louis Domingue, Oliver Kylington, Connor Mackey, Buddy Robinson, Zac Rinaldo and Brett Ritchie, who projects to be activated for this game… maybe.

The Flames were not very good against Vancouver, simply out. They hope to have a better start, a better middle and a better finish against their most bitter rival. They won’t have any challenges getting emotionally engaged in this game, but hopefully they can execute more efficiently in their transition game. When the Flames are skating and moving the puck well, they’re a really dangerous team (and fun to watch). When they’re standing still and making thoughtless decisions with the puck, they can be a bit of a push-over.

The Oilers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Ennis – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Kahun – Archibald – Khaira
Chiasson – Haas – Neal

Nurse – Barrie
Russell – Larsson
Koekkoek – Bouchard

Mike Smith starts for the Oilers, backed up by Mikko Koskinen. Their active extras are Devin Shore, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson. Their taxi squad is Dylan Wells, James Neal, Patrick Russell and Joakim Nygard. (Neal will be activated for this game, though.)

The Oilers have been better lately, but they’re still not yet a powerhouse. That said, Connor McDavid is always dangerous and they have a lot of really exciting pieces in their puzzle. It might not be fully assembled yet, but Edmonton is always a tough out.

The numbers

Calgary Edmonton
Wins 8 10
Points (%) 17 (.531) 20 (.556)
Adjusted Corsi For 50.6% 48.3%
Expected Goals 52.9% 50.5%
Power Play 21.3% 24.6%
Penalty Kill 79.6% 75.0%

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 8-7-1 record and 17 points. To hit 65 points, they need 48 points in their remaining 40 games – the equivalent of a .600 points percentage.

Unfit to play report

The Flames are without Derek Ryan.

The Oilers are without Zack Kassian, Ethan Bear and Oscar Klefbom.

When last we met

The Flames beat Edmonton by a 6-4 score way back on Feb. 6. They were bad in the first period, then were really good fro the remainder of the game.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:


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