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SAY WHAT: 'I'M AMPED UP FOR THIS ONE'

A rundown of some of the key storylines entering tonight's Battle of Alberta

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON IMPORTANCE OF THE GAME:

"Whoever wins is in first place in our division, so there's a lot on the line tonight. They're going to come out gunning, too, with the way we went into their building right after Christmas and took it to them pretty good there. They're going to want to return the favour tonight and we can't let that happen."

 

TKACHUK ON HOME-ICE ROLL:

"We want this place to be a very tough place to play, especially for a team that has the stars that they have, the rivalry that we have with them. They're a team that's been playing well all year, and we want this to be a place that they come into saying, 'You know what? Calgary's not a fun place to play a game."

 

Video: "There's a lot on the line tonight"

 

CAM TALBOT ON STARTING VS. FORMER TEAM:

"It's not [like any other game] but that's the way you have to approach it. Anytime you try to over-think things or put too much pressure on yourself, that's when things can go wrong. I'm just going to go out there, play the same game, and let the guys do the same in front of me."

 

TALBOT ON STOPPING MCDAVID/DRAISAITL:

"There are a lot of good shooters over there and that's what makes them so great, is they never do the same thing twice. It's going to be a game of patience on my part and try to make them make the first move."

 

Video: "It's going to be a game of patience on my part"

 

MILAN LUCIC ON THE TIGHT PACIFIC STANDINGS:

"Big rivalry game like this, for the first place in the division, you could make up any storyline that you want, but it's all about the two points tonight. ... Two teams that are rolling, two teams that are trying to move up in the standings. The players are all excited, so it should make for a great matchup here tonight."

 

LUCIC ON BUZZ AROUND THE RINK:

"It's high. Sometimes when you've got those 8 o'clock games, you've got to control it a little bit until puck drop. You almost wish it was at 1 o'clock so you can get 'er going. ... It's one of those games you circle on the calendar, one of those games you look forward to. … I'm amped up for this one."

 

Video: "It's one of those games you circle on the calendar"

 

WARD ON BATTLE OF ALBERTA STORYLINES:

"For us, it's nice that the Battle is relevant again. It means something in terms of standings and placement and all that kind of stuff. It'll be fun. The biggest thing for us is that we've got to prepare to play our game. It's one of 82. It's got a little more juice because it is a rivalry game, but we still have to pay attention to the things that we need to do to play a 60-minute hockey game, and that's where our focus is going to lie this afternoon."

 

Video: "It's got a little more juice"

 

WARD ON DEFENDING CONNOR MCDAVID:

"You've got to be aware of what he's going to do with it after (entering the zone). Can you pressure the next pass? Can you force it into an area where his space is taken away a little bit? You have to use the rink to your advantage once he does get it in, so those are the things you've got to be mindful of. But he's awful good on the entry and it's why he's the best player in the world right now."

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