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Oilers at Flames preview

Edmonton eyes fourth straight win; Talbot starts third game in row for Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

OILERS (24-17-5) at FLAMES (24-17-5)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NHL.TV


The Game

Cam Talbot will make his season-high third straight start when the Calgary Flames host the Edmonton Oilers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Talbot, who played 227 games (222 starts) for Edmonton from 2015-19, is 5-2-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in his past eight games (seven starts) for the Flames, who are on a four-game winning streak after going 2-5-1 in their previous eight games.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen will make his first start in five games for the Oilers, who are on a three-game winning streak and are 4-0-1 in their past five games. Koskinen is 2-2-0 with a 4.19 goals-against average and .864 save percentage in his past four starts, including allowing four goals on 24 shots before being relieved by Mike Smith in a 5-1 loss against Calgary on Dec. 27.


Players to watch

Oilers forward Connor McDavid has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in his past eight games.

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"It's definitely not another game. It's a big game for us. We're tied here [for third place in the Pacific Division]. It's the Battle of Alberta. It's one everyone gets up for. Saturday night. Hockey Night in Canada. We'll be ready to go. The way we played last game against Calgary (Dec. 27), we want to be a lot better tonight." -- Oilers forward James Neal

"I think that's what makes this game so great. Big rivalry game like this. Chance to move to first in the division. You can make up any storyline you want, but it's all about the two points tonight. They've won four of their last five. We've won four in a row. Two teams rolling. Two teams looking to move up the standings. Fans are excited. Players are all excited." -- Flames forward Milan Lucic


Oilers projected lineup

James Neal -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

Joakim Nygard -- Riley Sheahan -- Josh Archibald

Sam Gagner -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Kris Russell -- Caleb Jones

Mikko Koskinen

Mike Smith

Scratched: Patrick Russell, William Lagesson, Jujhar Khaira

Injured: Matt Benning (concussion)


Flames projected lineup

Matthew Tkachuk -- Elias Lindholm -- Andrew Mangiapane

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Mikael Backlund

Milan Lucic -- Derek Ryan -- Dillon Dube

Sam Bennett -- Tobias Rieder -- Zac Rinaldo

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington -- Rasmus Andersson

Cam Talbot

David Rittich

Scratched: Mark Jankowski, Michael Stone

Injured: None


Status report

Gagner will replace Khaira after being a healthy scratch the past four games. …Rieder will play in place of Jankowski after being a healthy scratch the past two games.


Stat pack

Nugent-Hopkins has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the past five games. …Draisaitl has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak. …Monahan needs two points for 400 in the NHL.

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