CALGARY, AB -- Though the Edmonton Oilers are coming off a victory against the Winnipeg Jets to head into the Christmas break on a winning note, there has been little reason to cheer.
Before their 6-2 drubbing of the Jets, Edmonton had dropped six straight games and were just 2-7-1 in their past 10 games. That stretch has kept the Oilers sitting last in the Western Conference with just 27 points, trailing the Calgary Flames by seven despite having played two more games.
The Oilers have, however, found some success against their provincial rival this season. The Oilers have earned three of a possible four points in matchups against the Flames this year and will look for two more on Friday night.
This Season: 12-24-3 (14th in West)
Last Season: 19-22-7, 45 points (12th in West)
Notable Additions: D Andrew Ference, D Denis Grebeshkov, G Richard Bachman, G Jason LaBarbera, F Ryan Hamilton, F Jesse Joensuu, LW David Perron, C Boyd Gordon, D Philip Larsen, F Roman Horak
Notable Subtractions: D Mark Fistric, F Shawn Horcoff, G Nikolai Khabibulin, F Magnus Paajarvi, D Theo Peckham, D Ryan Whitney, D Ladislav Smid
Flames Season Series Record: 1-1-0
Hall, a product of Calgary, AB, has been as hot as any Oilers skater of late. The 22-year-old has two goals and five points in his past three games. Hall’s 33 points this season are tops in Edmonton while his 14 goals and 19 assists are second in both categories.
Though he snapped a six-game scoreless drought with an assist in the 6-2 win over Winnipeg on Dec. 23, Hemsky has not produced to the Oilers expectations of late. The 30-year-old failed to record a shot in three of his past seven games, too.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Acquired by Edmonton alongside Laurent Brossoit in exchange for Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy in November, Horak could get his first taste of NHL action with the Oilers against Calgary on Friday. The 22-year-old has 11 points in 18 games since joining the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL.
The only Oilers forward to skate in all 39 games this season, Eberle has made the most of his time. The 23-year-old has 12 goals and 31 points this season and has the best plus/minus among the team’s top-5 scorers at minus-4.
With four points in his past three games, Nugent-Hopkins has also been an Oilers forward on the rise. The Burnaby, BC product has nine goals and 20 assists on the season but has failed to record a point against the Flames this year.