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PREVIEW - FLAMES vs. OILERS

You can watch tonight's game live right here on CalgaryFlames.com or the Flames Facebook page

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

One last dress rehearsal before opening night.

Instead of working on remembering lines, they be working on fine-tuning them.

With the curtain set to raise on the regular season Thursday night in Denver for the Flames when they take on the Avs, tonight is one final chance to get in game reps.

And what better way to do that than with another installment of the Battle of Alberta.

 

Video: Setting up the Battle of Alberta

 

NEED-TO-KNOW

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You can watch tonight's game LIVE right here on CalgaryFlames.com

UPDATES

The Flames will host the Oilers tonight at 7 p.m. (click here for tickets) and head coach Bill Peters said there is still plenty on the line for his charges.

"I think there's battles for sure," Peters told media Friday. "And it's not only roster spots but you're role within the team. What are you gonna do? Are you going to spend time on a speciality team unit, can you help us on the powerplay, can you help us on the penalty-kill. Do you move ahead of somebody you're equally as good as five-on-five because of your specialty team attributes. So those are the things we have to figure out."

David Rittich will get the start, said Peters, with Cam Tablot as the backup. Whether Rittich plays the whole contest or splits time between the pipes hasn't been decided.

Along with Big Save Dave, expect a lot of other familiar faces on the ice - including Matthew Tkachuk, back in the fold after signing a new deal earlier in the week.  

"I think our last home game, we went with an older, veteran lineup and I thought we played more to our identity," said Peters. "I'd like to play to our identity. I'd like to get Chucky's minutes up. I think that'll be important. So we have to factor in all those things. So it won't be like a regular pre-season game where everyone just rolls four lines and plays 15 minutes. If I get Chucky a little higher than that'll be beneficial for him and beneficial for us moving forward."

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: "If I go in there ... not dip my toe in, play aggressive and assert myself in the game fast, it'll be good."Chucky's raring to go. #EDMvsCGY | #Flames https://t.co/cbjYkZnETm

 

There is one question mark that will affect the makeup of tonight's roster. Centre Derek Ryan didn't skate yesterday battling a bug.

"He was kind of under the weather early in the week and it kind of re-occured in San Jose," said Peters.

"We'll see if he's available and if he's available, we'll listen to (athletic therapist) Kent (Kobelka) and see if we should play him, if that's the prudent thing to do. That will kind of dictate what we do down the middle."

 

ROSTER UPDATE:

The Flames have released forward Devante Smith-Pelly from his PTO.

 

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames will look ahead to their season-opener in Denver Thursday night, where they'll face the Avs (7 p.m., TV: Sportsnet West, Radio: SPORTSNET960 The Fan). 

Saturday night they host the Canucks in the home-opener at the Scotiabank Saddledome (8 p.m., TV: HNIC, Radio: SPORTSNET960 The Fan). Click here for tickets
 

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