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Oilers at Flames preview

Draisaitl tries to reach 50-goal mark for Edmonton; Gaudreau two points from 100 with Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

OILERS (34-38-9) at FLAMES (50-24-7)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, NHL.TV


The Game

Forward Leon Draisaitl can become the first Edmonton Oilers player to have 50 goals in a season since Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri in 1986-87 if he scored against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Gretzky scored 62 goals and Kurri had 54 in 1986-87. Draisaitl is second in the NHL with 49 goals, two behind League-leader Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

The Oilers, who are 0-4-1 in their past five games, were eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 1.

The Flames, who are 3-1-0 in the past four games, clinched the best record in the Western Conference on March 31 and will have home-ice advantage for as long as they remain in the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Forward Johnny Gaudreau is two points from becoming the first Calgary player to reach 100 in a single season since Theo Fleury had 100 in 1992-93.


Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid's 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) are the most by an Edmonton player since Mark Messier had 129 (45 goals, 84 assists) in 1989-90.

Mark Giordano's 74 points (17 goals, 57 assists) are the most by a Flames defenseman since Al MacInnis had 74 (16 goals, 58 assists) in 1988-89.


They said it

"I don't need to beat around the bush; it would be pretty special for me. I'm just going to enjoy the last game and try to get one more in." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on trying to score 50 goals

"I think we're just preparing for Game 1 [of the playoffs]. Some guys are back in the lineup that haven't played in a couple games now. We just want to have a solid outing tonight at home and finish the regular season off on the right note and feel good going into the playoffs." -- Flames goalie Mike Smith


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Ty Rattie

Tobias Rieder -- Colby Cave -- Alex Chiasson

Joseph Gambardella -- Sam Gagner -- Brad Malone

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Andrej Sekera -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Kevin Gravel, Alexander Petrovic

Injured: Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body), Jujhar Khaira (undisclosed), Kyle Brodziak (undisclosed)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Elias Lindholm -- James Neal

Dillon Dube -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Andrew Mangiapane -- Derek Ryan -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Jankowski -- Austin Czarnik

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oscar Fantenberg -- Rasmus Andersson

Dalton Prout

Mike Smith

David Rittich

Scratched: Matthew Tkachuk, Alan Quine, Juuso Valimaki, Oliver Kylington, Michael Stone

Injured: Sean Monahan (illness), Sam Bennett (lower body)


Status report

The Oilers didn't have a morning skate. …Tkachuk is expected to be a healthy scratch, and Monahan will be a game-time decision. The Flames could go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.


Stat pack

Nugent-Hopkins has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six games. … Smith is 9-4-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in his past 13 starts. … Czarnik has an assist in each of the past four games.

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