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Flames and Oilers meet for final time this season

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (28-35-7) at OILERS (25-37-9)


Last 10: Calgary 5-5-0; Edmonton 5-3-2

Season series: It's the fifth and final edition of this season's Battle of Alberta. The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have split the first four games, with the road team winning all four.

Big story: The Stanley Cup Playoffs aren't coming to Alberta this spring, but that doesn't mean the Flames and Oilers don't have anything to play for. Each team is heavily invested in finding out which of its young players deserve more time in the final weeks of this season as well as in 2014-15.

Team Scope:

Flames: Calgary hasn't been a playoff contender for most of the season, but the Flames haven't stopped playing hard. They overcame deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 against the Nashville Predators on Friday, then rallied again after giving up a pair of late goals but came up short in a 6-5 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mike Cammalleri scored his second of the game with 2:24 left in regulation to make it a one-goal game, and the Flames had plenty of chances in the final 90 seconds after pulling goaltender Joey MacDonald for an extra attacker.

"Right to the end," Cammalleri said. "I thought we almost had one at the end there, too. It would have been nice. You can't expect to win games when you give up six, for sure."

Oilers: Edmonton could have used Jordan Eberle, one of its top forwards, on Thursday night when it lost 3-1 at Rexall Place to the last-place Buffalo Sabres. But Eberle, who sat out after tweaking his knee against Nashville on Tuesday, skated at practice Friday and could be ready to go. Coach Dallas Eakins would like to have his second-leading scorer back in the lineup but doesn't want to take any chances with a banged-up roster.

"It's good news that he's stayed throughout practice today," Eakins said following practice. "But we'll just have to see how that reacts but I think he would be first back in the door right now out of the group and I'm hopeful that our half a dozen guys that are hurting are still able to go tomorrow."

Who's hot: Cammalleri's two goals against Nashville gave him seven in the Flames' past six games. He has 10 points in that stretch. … Forward Taylor Hall has goals in back-to-back games for the Oilers and is tops with with 65 points.

Injury report: The Flames returned goaltender Joni Ortio to Abbotsford of the American Hockey League after the loss to Nashville, meaning that Karri Ramo (knee) is ready to return. Calgary is missing forwards Markus Granlund (shoulder) and David Jones (shoulder), as well as defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body). … The Oilers could have Eberle (knee) and defenseman Anton Belov (oblique) back in the lineup after Belov was cleared Friday. Forwards Jesse Joensuu (high ankle sprain) and Nail Yakupov (ankle) are out.

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