Sometimes things don’t live up to expectations. The first two installments of the 2019-20 Battle of Alberta lived up to expectations. Tonight, we get round three. The Calgary Flames (26-19-6, 58 points) head up to Alberta’s capital city to take on their beloved Edmonton Oilers (26-18-5, 57 points) in a game with tremendous emotional and standings repercussions.

The game begins just after 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

For a view from the other side, head on over to Oilers Nation!

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Mangiapane – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Gaudreau – Monahan – Robinson
Lucic – Ryan – Rieder
Bennett – Backlund – Rinaldo

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

David Rittich starts for the Flames, backed up by Cam Talbot. Today’s scratches are Michael Stone, Dillon Dube and Mark Jankowski.

So before the All-Star Break, the Flames beat Edmonton. The game was crazy. Suspensions occurred. Enough zaniness ensued that the league has sent Player Safety head George Parros and officiating head Stephen Walkom to the game to make sure nobody dies. It’ll be a tense, playoff-like atmosphere. But that might mean we see very few fireworks because everyone’s been warned not to commit murder crimes in this hockey game. My over/under for combined PIMs in this game is 30. Take the over.

But if this does turn into a dog and pony show, the Flames’ power play was superb against St. Louis and could be a difference-maker.

The Oilers

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Neal – McDavid – Kassian
Nugent-Hopkins – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Nygard – Sheahan – Archibald
Khaira – Haas – Chiasson

Nurse – Bear
Klefbom – Larsson
K.Russell – Jones

Mike Smith starts for Edmonton, backed up by Mikko Koskinen. The projected extras are Sam Gagner and Patrick Russell.

The Oilers are a point back of the Flames with two games in hand. This is a huge game for the playoff chances and positioning of both teams. Zack Kassian returns to the lineup after a two game suspension, just in time for a pair of games against the guy he got suspended for pummelling. Life’s funny sometimes.

The home side has last change, several good players, and will likely be very motivated to have a good showing.

The Numbers

Flames Oilers
Wins 26 26
Points 58 57
Adjusted Corsi 50.1% 47.7%
Power Play 20.0% 29.7%
Penalty Kill 82.0% 82.1%

Injury Report

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

The Oilers are missing D Matt Benning (concussion).

When Last We Met

The Flames won each of the first two meetings between these teams. After this, they meet again on Saturday (in Calgary) and then on the last night of the season in April (also in Calgary).

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight:

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