NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, April 1st
(All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (13-16-4) at Edmonton Oilers (14-13-7), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers are looking to put together a run that
they hope will end a six-year playoff drought. They'll try to extend their
longest winning streak of the season on Monday night in a meeting with the
The Oilers have won three in a row for the first time this season ahead of an
opener of a home-and-home series with the Flames, who host the finale on
Wednesday. Edmonton, which last made the playoffs in 2006 when it reached the
Stanley Cup Finals, will try to win four straight for the first time since
posting six straight triumphs from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2011.
To do that, the Oilers will need to pick up a rare victory over the Flames.
Calgary took the first of four meetings this season at home on Jan. 26 by a
4-3 margin, winning in the Battle of Alberta for the 10th time in the last 12
Edmonton has also lost 17 of the past 20 encounters overall and seven of the
previous nine at home.
The Oilers, though, will face a Flames club that traded away is former captain
and all-time leading scorer Jarome Iginla early Thursday morning to the
Pittsburgh Penguins for a pair of college forwards and a 2013 first-round
Iginla left the Flames as their all-time leader in goals (525), points (1,095)
and total games (1,219), while placing second in assists (570) over his 16-
plus seasons in southern Alberta.
In their first game since the trade, Calgary was defeated 6-4 by the Columbus
Blue Jackets on Friday. Dennis Wideman, Curtis Glencross, Brian McGrattan and
Mikael Backlund all scored in Calgary's fifth loss in seven games, while Matt
Stajan notched the 200th assist of his career.
Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled after two periods for surrendering five goals on
20 shots. Joey McDonald stopped all four shots he faced in the third as the
Flames had an eight-game home winning streak snapped.
"I can't fault the effort, but obviously we gave them three or four goals,"
said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "I have to give my team a really good
grade for the effort, for the compete level that they put in."
Calgary, which will hit the road for three straight after hosting Edmonton on
Wednesday, is now seven points back of a playoff spot, while the Oilers are
just two points back of the eighth-place Blue Jackets thanks to their current
Edmonton will look to build off Saturday's 4-0 victory over the Vancouver
Canucks that featured a pair of franchise records.
Taylor Hall completed the third hat trick of his career just 7:53 into the
game, breaking Wayne Gretzky's previous club mark of 12:38 on Dec. 17, 1986.
"Any time you can break the Great One's record, it's pretty special. It's just
one of those games where everything I shot at the start went in and then you
saw at the end of the game everything we shot didn't go in. So it was
definitely huge to get a big start like that and after that we played really
well," said Hall, who has eight points in his last four games.
Hall scored just 16 seconds into the game and Ladislav Smid followed with a
goal at the 2:05 mark. Hall then notched his second goal 38 seconds later and
the three goals in the opening 2:43 set a new club mark, surpassing the old
record of 3:25 set on Dec. 16, 1981.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists and has logged seven helpers in his last
four games, while Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves in his sixth career shutout.
Edmonton wraps a three-game homestand tonight and Wednesday's finale begins a
four-game swing for the playoff hopefuls.
04/01 11:00:51 ET