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Flames need to beat Oilers to keep playoff hopes

by John Kreiser
OILERS (25-43-11) at FLAMES (40-29-11)

TV -- SNET-West (HD)

Last 10 -- Edmonton 2-6-2; Calgary 4-4-2

Season series -- It's the sixth and final game of the Battle of Alberta. The Oilers won the first one, 4-0 at home on opening night, but the Flames have won the last four -- including a pair of shootouts. Calgary is 11-1-0 in the last 12 games between the provincial rivals.

Big story -- The Flames have been sitting and watching for two days since their 2-1 win at Colorado on Sunday, hoping this game would mean something. It will -- with 91 points, the Flames are two behind Chicago and Anaheim with two games remaining. The Oilers, who completed a home-and-home sweep of Vancouver with a 2-0 win on Tuesday, would like nothing more than ensuring that their biggest rivals will join them watching the playoffs on TV.

Team Scope:

Oilers -- There won't be any playoffs in Edmonton again this year, but the Oilers have given their fans something to smile about by sweeping a home-and-home series against the first-place Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers won 4-1 at Vancouver on Saturday and took the back end 2-0 at Rexall Place on Tuesday as Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves.

"It feels awesome," Dubnyk said of the sweep. "We've done a good job the last two games. The odds were stacked pretty highly against us these last two games. I don't think anybody really gave us a chance. It would have been easy to sit back and just believe that. It's exciting that we said no way and went out there and did it."

Flames -- Things looked bleak for the Flames after Anaheim Came into Scotiabank Saddledome last Wednesday and left with a 4-2 win. But a pair of road wins and losses by the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks have given Calgary new life. The Flames are just two points behind Anaheim and Chicago entering Wednesday's action, though both teams have a game in hand.

"We came on the road, won two big games, and it's tightened the gap up for us," coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday. "Now we're right there again. Let's see what happens with other games. Let's get ourselves ready for our next opponent."

Who's hot --
Dubnyk has allowed just one goal in winning his last two starts, stopping 76 of 77 shots. … Flames captain Jarome Iginla has 6 goals and 10 points during a five-game points streak. Linemate Alex Tanguay has 2 goals and 7 points in Calgary's last three games.

Injury report --
Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert sat out Tuesday with a bad back, ending his consecutive games streak at 332. Gilbert Brule and Colin Fraser also sat with undisclosed injuries. … The Flames have been without Niklas Hagman (concussion), David Moss (ankle) and Brendan Morrison (knee).

Stat pack -- Edmonton scored its first 5-on-3 goal of the season in the win against Vancouver on Tuesday. .. Tuesday's win gave the Oilers 61 points, one more than the franchise-worst mark set in 1992-93.

Puck drop -- Before the puck drops, the Flames will honor Iginla, who reached the 1,000-point mark on Friday by scoring the winning goal in a 3-2 victory at St. Louis.

Not that he's ready to hang up his skates.

"It's not a swan (song) where I'll skate around," the 33-year-old said of the impending tribute. "I'd imagine it will be pretty short-lived as we have work to do."

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