Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames, 7 PM MT Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
|Radio: Sportsnet 960|
The Calgary Flames will open their home schedule with a rematch of the Battle of Alberta Friday night. Calgary dropped it’s season opener to the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday night by the score of 7-4. Calgary doesn’t fare well in season openers and that trend continued with an abysmal performance in the newly christened Rogers Place. The all time series record between these two rivals finds the Flames in charge of the series with a 128-112-19 record against the Oilers. The last decade has been particularly good for the Flames against the Oilers where they hold a commanding 28-9-0 lead and have outscored Edmonton by an average of more than one goal a contest.
Connor McDavid proved why the Oilers made him the youngest captain in NHL history. McDavid had a 3 point night against the Flames and Calgary had a hard time keeping up with the young phenom. McDavid scored 2 goals on 6 shots and while he wasn’t close to perfect, Cam Talbot did just enough to hold Calgary off stopping 37 of 41 shots that came his way.
On the Calgary side it wasn’t pretty. Brian Elliott’s debut for the Flames was one he will likely want to forget. The newly acquired goaltender allowed 6 goals on 27 shots en rout to a 7-4 loss. Calgary had some odd defence pairings and those decisions hurt the Flames immediately as Nicklas Grossmann was on the ice for the first two Edmonton goals and one was directly his fault as the result of a turnover. The good news? Mikael Backlund looked like he picked up right where he left off picking up 2 assists. Matthew Tkachuk looked like he belonged in the NHL and newcomers Alex Chiasson and Troy Brouwer each got their first goal as a member of the Flames.
The Flames will need better goaltending and defence tonight if they want to come out of this game with a victory. Edmonton was clearly riding high on the emotion of their new building opening and all the Oilers legends being on hand for the contest. No doubt the Flames will be looking to use their own fans and building to their advantage tonight. A couple early goals and a few quick saves from Brian Elliott should put everyone’s mind at ease. The bonus to tonight’s game? No 45 minute pregame celebration of a new arena with state of art railings that have wifi in them. Here’s how the 2 teams match-up.
|Calgary Flames||Edmonton Oilers|
|7th Pacific||Division||1st Pacific|
|4th Western (tie)||Conference||2nd Western (tie)|
|4 Tied with 1||Goals||McDavid (2)|
|Backlund (2)||Points||McDavid (3)|
|Elliott (.778)||SV %||Talbot (.902)|
|33.3% (7th)||PP %||16.7% (14th)|
|83.3% (13th)||PK%||66.7% (17th)|
Calgary Flames 4 vs Edmonton Oilers 7
Calgary: Brian Elliott 0-1-0, 6.07 GAA, .778 SV%
Edmonton: Cam Talbot 1-0-0, 4.03 GAA, .902 SV%
Players to Watch
Calgary Flames: Brian Elliott. The Flames keeper needs to have a better showing than he did in the season opener. Elliott’s defence didn’t help him, but he did let in a few soft goals and looked to be fighting the puck at times.
Edmonton Oilers: Kris Russell. The former Flame took it to his former club on Wednesday night. He registered 2 assists on the night, while taking one shot on net. It will be interesting to see if the opening night momentum he had in Edmonton will carry over to this game in Calgary.