It’s finally here! The Calgary Flames (19-15-5, 43 points) are visiting Rogers Place, a nice arena inside an okay city, to face their bitter rivals, the Edmonton Oilers (20-16-4, 44 points), in the first Battle of Alberta of the 2019-20 season. It’s a big game for both teams as they hope to climb in the Pacific Division standings.

The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Tkachuk – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Monahan – Backlund – Gaudreau
Lucic – Ryan – Dube
Bennett – Jankowski – Frolik

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts, backed up by Cam Talbot. Today’s scratches are Michael Stone, Tobias Rieder and Zac Rinaldo.

The Flames are 8-3-1 under interim head coach Geoff Ward. Keep an eye on how the Flames try to line-match against the Connor McDavid line: back in the day, the old 3M Line got a heavy dose of McDavid. Will Ward try to target Elias Lindholm’s trio against the Oilers’ top dogs?

Fun fact: this is the latest first meeting of the Battle of Alberta in franchise history. The next-latest first meeting was in 1999-2000, 35 games into the season.

The Oilers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Neal – Nugent-Hopkins – Archibald
Khaira – Sheahan – P. Russell
Nygard – Haas – Chiasson

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Bear
K. Russell – Jones

Mikko Koskinen starts for the Oilers, backed up by Forever A Flame Mike Smith. The projected extra bodies are Markus Granlund and Sam Gagner.

The Oilers aren’t the punching bag they once were. But that’s not because of depth. That’s because of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who are two of the best players in the NHL these days and a ton of fun to watch. But beyond that dynamic duo, there’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and not a heck of a lot else up front.

If the Flames can (somehow) avoid getting demolished by the Oilers’ top duo, this is likely a winnable game.

The Numbers

Flames Oilers
Wins 19 20
Points 43 44
Adjusted Corsi 50.2% 47.3%
Power Play 19.7% 29.8%
Penalty Kill 84.8% 83.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery).

The Oilers are missing D Matt Benning (hand) and D Brandon Manning (hand).

When Last We Met

This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. They’ll meet four more times this season, including three games in Calgary.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight: