Game Day Preview 02/21/12: Flames vs Oilers

 

With their recent win against L.A on Saturday (a 1-0 victory), the Calgary Flames have pulled themselves up into the thick of the Western Conference (now tied with L.A for eighth).

Tonight, Calgary looks to extend their streak of success against the Edmonton Oilers, whose recent record isn't looking too hot. Especially when you consider that the Oilers have not won a game in Calgary since October of 2008.

At any rate, the Flames have improved this month to 5-0-3 since their recent victory against L.A. Michael Cammalleri scored the only goal that game in the third, while Kiprusoff made 28 saves that evening, resulting in his fourth shutout. Jarome Iginla, the teams captain, even commented after the game saying that Kiprusoff has been "outstanding all year".

The last time these teams went head to head was in January where the Flames dominated in a 6-2 victory. The past few games before that, the odds were not in the Oilers favor; resulting in a 5-3 and a 3-0 loss against the Flames in December.

On Sunday, the Oilers fell 5-2 against Vancouver, making it their third straight loss in the last fifth and sixth games. Despite their shaky performance, winger Ryan Smyth isn't letting the team’s loss get to him. "You have to play with pride. Play for your jersey and for your job" Smyth commented.

Ralph Krueger, the Oilers' associate coach, pointed out that the team needs to play with more energy if they expect to turn things around.

If things weren't looking grim enough, Nikolai Khabibulin left after the first period due to a groin injury, where the Canucks scored within the first minute. Devan Dubnyk will be taking his place. Though Dubnyk has never beaten Calgary, there’s a first time for everything.

By the look of the numbers, the performances, and recent injuries, Edmonton isn’t exactly rolling in tonight’s game with a lot to show for. Then again, the Flames’ power-play has been struggling as of late, which may result in lack of goals. All in all, if the Flames stay consistent, they should skate away with a win tonight. 

 

Projected lines for the Calgary Flames:

Alex Tanguay - Olli Jokinen - Jarome Iginla

Tom Kostopoulos - Mike Cammalleri - Blake Comeau

Paul Byron - Roman Horak - Krys Kolanos

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Chris Butler

Mark Giordano - Scott Hannan

TJ Brodie - Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff