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5 THINGS - FLAMES VS. OILERS

The Flames close out the regular season with the Battle of Alberta

by PAUL MAWDSLEY @pmawdsley23 / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (50-24-7: 107 pts.) vs. EDMONTON OILERS (34-38-9: 77 pts.)

8 p.m. MT | TV: CBC/Sportsnet | Radio: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

Season Series: 2-1-0

All-time: 121-95-19-6

Flames Home Record: 26-9-5

Oilers Road Record: 16-19-5

Leading scorers:

Flames:

Points - Johnny Gaudreau (98)
Goals - Gaudreau (36)

Oilers:

Points - Connor McDavid (116)
Goals - Leon Draisaitl (49)

 

Video: Brendan Parker sets up tonight's Battle of Alberta

 

>> RELATED: PRE-GAME COMMENTS
>> RELATED: PROJECTED LINEUP
>> RELATED: FINAL TUNE-UP

 

US

The Flames had a three-game winning streak come to an end earlier this week, falling 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks to close out a California road trip. The Flames did not ice their full roster for the second straight game, resting Sean Monahan , Elias Lindholm , Mark Giordano and others ahead of the playoffs. The Flames fell behind early in the contest and would never recover. Derek Ryan - on a setup from Johnny Gaudreau and Austin Czarnik - scored the team's lone goal. … "I didn't think we had a lot of jump, a lot of fire," Ryan said. "Obviously not our best game. It's tough to play a game like this, but you still have to find a way to be professional. We had our chances, but just kind of a lacklustre performance in my opinion." … With a single point in the game, Gaudreau now sits only two points shy of the century mark. While not his sole focus, reaching the 100-point plateau on Saturday would be a large accomplishment for the Flames winger. … "Not many players get the chance to do it," acknowledged Gaudreau following practice Friday. "Only four or five players get to this year. A couple more are pretty close, too. I try not to think about it. The more you think about it … you'll never probably get it. So tomorrow I just want to go out and have fun. It'd be exciting if I get but it'll be a good year if I get there or not. A special year." … In the Flames' last 10 outings, they've compiled a 6-4-0 record while outscoring their opponents 33-20. The Flames remain as one of the league's most potent offences, sitting second to the Tampa Bay Lightning with 288 goals on the year.

 

Video: "It's the final tune-up before the real thing."

 

THEM    

Having missed the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years, the Oilers are limping the finish line with losses in five straight and eight of their last 10, including a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Thursday to close out the home portion of their schedule. With only 34 victories this year, the Oilers will fall short of their win total from the 2017-18 campaign (36), and can only match the 78 points they accrued last year by taking tonight's game to overtime. "It's been an insane season," captain Connor McDavid told Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun after the Oilers were eliminated last week. "Coaching change. GM change. Good times and bad times. It's been a roller coaster. It's been emotionally challenging. It's been hard mentally to keep on going, but we were always kind of right there. We were close and then we drifted away. That's the way it goes." … While the Oilers have endured another tough year, McDavid and wingman Leon Draisaitl - along with the longest-serving Oiler, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - have all had career years offensively. Draisaitl, in particular, broke out in a big way and has 49 (or 21.7%) of Edmonton's 226 goals, and is only two off the league leader, Alex Ovechkin (51). No other player, league wide, has a higher percentage of his team's goals this year. McDavid, meanwhile, has enjoyed a third straight triple-digit campaign (116 to 108 last year), and Nugent-Hopkins is 11 points clear of his previous high of 56. … Goaltender Mikko Koskinen - who signed a three-year, $13.5 million extension with the Oilers in January - had started 24 of the last 25 games before Anthony Stolarz got the call in Thursday's loss to the Sharks. Koskinen is 24-21-6, along with a .905 save percentage and a 2.97 goals-against average.

 

Video: Gaudreau, Monahan power Flames past Oilers


    
US vs. THEM

The Battle of Alberta started with a bang back on Nov. 17 when the Flames downed the Oilers 5-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Captain Mark Giordano led the way with a goal and two assists, while both Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund added a goal and an assist each. … "It was a big win, for sure," said Backlund. "It means a lot to the team. We're showing strength in the third again. We found another way to win. It's great to see the character in this room and everybody digs in and we're finding ways to win." … The second match-up was a defensive struggle, as Mikko Koskinen shut the door in a 1-0 Oilers win at Rogers Place on Dec. 9. Connor McDavid was the only player to find twine in the contest. … The Flames would rebound in their next meeting, thumping the Oilers 5-2 in Edmonton. Johnny Gaudreau, Giordano and Oliver Kylington had second-period goals, while Mikael Backlund and Monahan rounded out the scoring in the third. . …  "I think tonight was one of those games where we gave up two quality chances there in times where we shouldn't have, and we came back there and generated a lot of looks," Monahan said. "A lot of guys stepped up tonight. We got our chances in the third and we capitalized."

 

Video: "We don't like them, they don't like us."


     
THIS, THAT, & THE OTHER

THIS: The Flames are finishing the regular season on home ice where they sport a record of 26-9-5 this season. They're tied (with Tampa Bay) for the most goals at home this year with 165. The Flames also have the fifth-best power-play percentage at home in the NHL this year at 24.2%. ... THAT: The Flames are 16-10-2 against their divional foes this year, including a 2-1-0 mark against tthe Oilers. ... THE OTHER: The Flames enter tonight's game with a record of 50-24-7 for 107 points. This will officially go down as the second-best season in franchise history, with the Stanley Cup-winning 1988-89 entry holding the team records for wins with 54 and points with 117.

 

Video: "We're going to try and do it right - good habits."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames: LW Johnny Gaudreau

Calgary's leading scorer has been on fire recently, with six points over his last five games. In the regular-season finale, he'll look to stay hot and collect a pair of points as he searches to reach the 100-point mark for the first time in his career.

Oilers: C Leon Draisaitl

Chasing a 50-goal season, the Oilers' leading goal-scorer will be searching for the final tally to reach that milestone. With 49 goals and 104 points, Draisaitl has had himself a career year with Edmonton.

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