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Preview: Flames @ Oilers

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (32-40-6) at OILERS (30-42-7)

TV: CBC, SN, NHL.TV (8:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have split their four games. Forward Taylor Hall is Edmonton's leading scorer with two goals and six assists. Oilers goalie Cam Talbot is 2-1-0, including a 31-save performance in a 2-1 shootout win on Jan. 16. Johnny Gaudreau and Michael Frolik each have game-winning goals for Calgary.

Flames team scope: This is the final game the Flames and Oilers will play at Rexall Place, where Edmonton has a 54-43-9-6 regular-season record against its provincial rival. Calgary is 1-5-0 in its past six games and is coming off road losses to the Anaheim Ducks (8-3) and Los Angeles Kings during a midweek trip. "Just all around, it's been a tough year for us in our own division," forward Mikael Backlund said after the loss to the Kings on Thursday. Frolik (upper body) is out, but is expected to return when the Flames host the Kings on Tuesday. Gaudreau returned Thursday after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Goalie Joni Ortio, who made 26 saves against Los Angeles, is expected to start. Calgary reassigned defenceman Brett Kulak to Stockton of the American Hockey League on Friday; he played two games in March.

Oilers team scope: Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (concussion), defenceman Eric Gryba (knee) and left wing Benoit Pouliot (shoulder) will not play. Nugent-Hopkins and Gryba are close to returning, and may play in Edmonton's final home game Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks. Center Connor McDavid was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for March with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 15 games. Despite missing 37 games with a broken clavicle, McDavid will be in contention for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. "I really think he has to be nominated," Hall told the Edmonton Sun. "Everyone knows who the best rookie is. There are a couple of others (who started strongly) and maybe haven't kept the pace that they had at the start of the year. I think it's a lot harder to put up points like Connor has at the end of the year." Edmonton went 7-8-0 in March but has lost four of its past five games.

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