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Preview: Flames vs. Oilers

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames begin their back-to-back series with their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, on Saturday night and it looks like it will 2011 Young Stars tournament rematch as both squads will likely be dressing a plethora of rookies.

The Flames are sending the likes of Paul Byron, Sven Baertschi, Maxwell Reinhart, Greg Nemisz, Lance Bouma and Christopher Breen to Edmonton for the contest.

As for the Oilers, they will be dressing several members of their under-25 squad. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Pitlick and Anton Lander will all suit up tonight.

Flames head coach Brent Sutter has been very pleased with what he has seen from the rookies in training camp thus far and is looking forward to seeing how they fare against the Oilers baby-faced squad.

"A lot of young guys have played very well," he said. "Just keep pushing. That's what you want from them and they're a good job with it. That's what they need to continue to do."

Byron will be playing in his second preseason game in Edmonton and while he isn't familiar with the Battle of Alberta, he can't wait to become involved in the rivalry.

"I grew up in Ottawa so I saw a lot of the Battle of Ontario actually. It's pretty fun to be in an exciting rivalry like that.

"I heard it gets pretty intense so I'm pretty excited to be part of that."

The 22 year-old kicked off his tenure with Flames centering Alex Tanguay and Rene Bourque on Tuesday night. The trio were extremely successful, combining for four points in the 5-1 victory. He's using his performance against the Canucks as motivation going forward.

"I expect to go there and compete and play like we did against Vancouver. Bring a lot of energy. Really show up and compete in Edmonton. We have a lot of good, fun young guys and I think it's going to be a fun road trip for us."

Reinhart will be making his preseason debut on Saturday. The pivot did not skate for the first portion of training camp after becoming ill but Sutter confirmed on Thursday the 19 year-old would play this weekend.

Reinhart had an outstanding Young Stars tournament earlier this month and had immediate chemistry with Baertschi. The pair looked like men among boys during their time in Penticton so it would not be surprising to see the two of them on a line together in Edmonton.

The game will also give fans a glimpse of what will likely be the goaltending duo in Abbotsford this season with Leland Iving and Joni Ortio both listed on the game-day roster.

Edmonton will utilize netminers Nikolai Khabibulin and Yann Danis.

Game time is 6:00 PM MST and will be streamed live on The Fan 960 will also be broadcasting the game.


Stempniak - Byron - Bourque
Hagman - Reinhart - Baertschi
Bouma - Stajan - Nemisz
Meyer - Walter - Desbiens

Giordano - Hannan
Smith - Babchuk
Mikkelson - Henry



Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Hartikainen
Jones - Gagner - Keller
Green - Belanger - Pitlick
Tyrvainen - Lander - Martindale

Sutton - Gilbert
Barker - Tulupov
Peckham - Petry


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