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Calgary
Flames
43-29-10
Edmonton
Oilers
32-43-7

23 SOG
32 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CGY
EDM
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Flames-Oilers Preview

Saturday, 01.20.2007 / 8:00 PM

Associated Press

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Flames-Oilers Preview
Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Calgary Flames know how important home-ice advantage has been against the Edmonton Oilers in the "Battle of Alberta" this season.

That's why the Flames are eager to prove their worth at Rexall Place on Saturday as the Northwest Division rivals meet for the final time before the All-Star break and sixth time this season.

The home team has won the first five games between the provincial rivals and only 20 goals have been scored in those games. Calgary (25-17-4) is 3-0 at home, outscoring Edmonton 9-4 in those games, and the Oilers (23-20-4) are 2-0 at Rexall by a combined 5-2 margin.

Calgary picked up its NHL-best 19th home win in Friday's 3-2 victory over Anaheim. Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist as the Flames built a 3-0 lead before holding off the Ducks for their fifth straight victory at Pengrowth Saddledome.

"We're just a little bit more confident right now here," Flames left wing Alex Tanguay said. "For us, it's just a matter of what we do on the road where we know we are capable of winning hockey games."

According to Flames coach Jim Playfair, a chance for a road win starts with a strong effort at the outset and being the aggressor.

"We are not taking control of our game and work ethic early in the games," Playfair said."We're waiting to see if we're up and a goal or down a goal and all of a sudden away we go."

Kristian Huselius had an assist in Friday's win to stretch his points streak to six games, totaling five goals and four assists in that span. His 20 goals in 44 games this season are three shy of his career high set in 79 games with Florida in 2001-02.

Calgary is 5-2-0 without leading scorer Jarome Iginla, who is expected to miss at least two more weeks with a sprained knee but is optimistic he can start skating after the All-Star break.

"I'm hoping right after, but that would be optimistic," Iginla said Thursday. "The timeline is a month, but right after the All-Star break is three weeks and that's what I'm hoping for."

Edmonton has won consecutive games and four of its last six after a 4-1 victory over Anaheim on Thursday. Ryan Smyth assisted on a second-period goal and scored twice in the third period for the Oilers, who are four points behind the Flames for second in the Northwest.

"We started off pretty slow and found our rhythm," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It was a good game for us. We had a good finish to the second and then maybe our best period in the third. Given the extent of the injuries we have it was a pretty resilient effort by the guys."

Smyth ended a six-game goal-scoring drought and has a team-high 23 despite missing 10 games with a broken thumb. But he has just 15 goals - 12 on the power play - in 54 lifetime games against Calgary and only six in 27 games at Rexall Place.

Center Jarrett Stoll, who has a team-high 24 assists, is questionable for this game after suffering a fractured nose in the first period and suffering dizzy spells Thursday. Right wing Ales Hemsky is also day-to-day with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '07EDM 3 at CGY 2P. Thoresen
Mar 03 '07CGY 4 at EDM 2D. Langkow
Jan 20 '07CGY 4 at EDM 0M. Lombardi
Jan 13 '07EDM 1 at CGY 3D. Phaneuf
Dec 31 '06EDM 2 at CGY 4D. Phaneuf
Nov 21 '06CGY 1 at EDM 2P. Sykora
Oct 07 '06EDM 1 at CGY 2M. Nilson
Oct 05 '06CGY 1 at EDM 3P. Sykora
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%