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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (28-35-7) at Edmonton Oilers (25-37-9), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Regional bragging rights will be on the line Saturday when the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames in this season's final edition of the Battle of Alberta.
The Flames and Oilers, the bottom two teams in the Western Conference, have split four meetings this season. However, Edmonton has six points in the season series compared to four for the Flames, who picked up both of their victories against the Oilers in overtime.
The Oilers have taken six of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry, but Calgary has won three straight and seven of the past nine encounters at Edmonton's Rexall Place.
Edmonton, which is four points behind the Flames in the standings, had won two in a row before dropping Thursday's home test against the Buffalo Sabres. Cory Conacher had two goals on deflections and picked up an assist to help the Sabres snap a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 win.
Taylor Hall scored the lone Edmonton goal, while Ben Scrivens stopped 33 shots.
"For some reason tonight, when we did have the chances, we couldn't put them in the net," said Edmonton head coach Dallas Eakins.
The Oilers, who are headed for an eighth straight year out of the playoffs, is playing the third test of a six-game homestand on Saturday. Edmonton is just 13-17-3 as the home team this season.
Calgary scored five goals on Friday night against visiting Nashville, but wound up without a point as the Predators recorded a 6-5 victory at the Saddledome. Matt Cullen scored what proved to be the game-winner for Nashville with 2:52 to play and also added three assists.
Mike Cammalleri had two goals and an assist in the losing effort. Kris Russell added a goal and two assists, while Mikael Backlund had a marker and a helper for the Flames, who had won three of four coming into Friday's test.
Joni Ortio was also pulled from the start after giving up four goals on 13 shots, with Joey MacDonald stopping 7-of-9 shots in relief.
"Well our team defense...I am not pointing at our goalie or our defense by any means, I'm talking about our team defense," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "We got caught in the first period on two goals exactly the same. I think we can execute better than this. We worked very had to come back a few times in the game, but the way we were committed defensively tonight I don't think we had a chance."
With Karri Ramo ready to return from a knee injury, Ortio, a 22-year-old rookie, was sent down to the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL following the game.
Ramo will get the start in net tonight, marking his first appearance since spraining his right MCL on Feb. 1. Ramo's only career start against the Oilers was a 40-save loss on Feb. 24, 2009 when the Finnish netminder was playing for Tampa.
Viktor Fasth will start for Edmonton and has a 2-0 mark and 1.00 GAA in two career outings against the Flames.
03/22 10:56:06 ET
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