Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
TV: CBC, SN, SN1
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 10-8-1 (21 points) - Edmonton Oilers 9-8-1 (19 points)
The Battle Of Alberta kicks off tonight for the 2018-19 season as the Flames welcome the Oilers to the Saddledome for a Saturday night showdown.
The Flames come into this game having dropped 3 out of their last 4 and find themselves in 3rd place in the Pacific, only 2 points behind front runner San Jose. Calgary’s got some goalie issues as the Oilers come to town and hopefully a fresh David Rittich can breath some life into this team. Mike Smith’s struggles are well documented and with each start his confidence seems to be erroding. If the Flames are going to make the playoffs it would appear that the more David Rittich sees the ice the better the Flames will be. Tonight will hopefully be one of those nights.
The Oilers are in a similar spot in this mediocre Pacific Division. Their 19 points puts them in 5th place, clearly within reach of the Flames. Edmonton is 5-5-0 in their last 10 and they just got back in the win column after a 4 game losing streak. Much like the Flames, Edmonton is having issues in the crease as well. Cam Talbot is the appointed #1, yet he’s being outplayed by his backup Mikko Koskinen. Koskinen is 4-1-0 on the season and his Save% of .918 leads the team. In his 5 starts this month he’s surrendered only 11 goals with one game being a 40 save shutout against the Chicago Blackhawks,
It hasn’t been the easiest ride for the Flames since Connor McDavid landed in Alberta and the Saddledome has been unkind to the home team as well. The Flames are 2-3-0 at home when taking on McDavid’s Oilers, which is still much better than Calgary’s 0-4-0 record in Edmonton. Calgary’s PK has killed 11 of their last 11 man down opportunities this season and the Oilers middle of the pack PP units shouldn’t be that big of a challenge to the home team.
Flames: Rittich (E)- 5-1-0, 1.91 GAA, .935 Save%
Oilers: Koskinen (E)- 4-1-0, 2.52 GAA, .918 Save%
Goals: Tkachuk (9) Points: Tkachuk (21) PIM: Bennett (25) Save%: Rittich (.935)
Goals: Draisaitl (11) Points: McDavid (16) PIM: Lucic (30) Save%: Koskinen (.918)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Edmonton Oilers Coverage: Copper and Blue
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 2 Montreal Canadiens 3 (recap)
Edmonton Oilers 6 Montreal Canadiens 2
Players To Watch
Matthew Tkachuk: 9G, 12A, 7 points in lst 6 games
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 4G, 14A, 4 points in last 5 games