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The Edmonton Oilers won the opening round of the "Battle of Alberta" on the road, thanks in large part to opportunistic special teams play and a rookie goaltender looking like a seasoned veteran in his first NHL start.

The Calgary Flames would be more than happy to return the favor by pinning the first loss of the season on their provincial rivals.

On Saturday night, unbeaten Edmonton plays host to Calgary at Rexall Place in the back end of their home-and-home set.

Edmonton (3-0-0) remained perfect after a 4-3 victory on Friday as Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson scored power-play goals less than 10 minutes apart in the second period.

"In today's game, you have to be disciplined in the amount of penalties that you take," said Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish.

Five of the Oilers' 10 goals have come with the man advantage.

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers started in place of Mathieu Garon, and finished with 26 saves to help the Oilers continue their best start since winning their first five games in 1985-86.

"It's always something special when you have your first NHL start. You think you know what to expect but it's something very different, the feeling is unbelievable," Drouin-Deslauriers said. "The guys played amazing today, they played hard, they were everywhere. They helped me with every aspect of my game. It was a big team win."

Calgary (1-2-1) got goals from Adrian Aucoin, David Moss and Todd Bertuzzi, who's been carrying the scoring load early for the Flames. He has four goals in his last three games after tallying just 14 in 68 games last season with Anaheim.

"We know we were right in this game, it was two points that we lost that I think we should have had so we're going to get on the plane, get to Edmonton, and have a good one tomorrow," Bertuzzi said.

A visit to his hometown may help Jarome Iginla shake his early-season slump. Iginla has one goal and two points so far after he led Calgary with 50 goals and 98 points in 2007-08.

The Flames' all-time goal-scoring leader has failed to record a point in his last two games in Edmonton, but has 12 goals and 14 assists in 32 games there.

The Oilers and Flames split four games at Rexall last season, continuing a pattern that has highlighted this series. The teams have split their last 22 games in Edmonton since the 2000-01 season, and this will be the first time they're meeting on consecutive nights in 16 years.

Garon should be back in goal for the Oilers. He's allowed one goal en route to winning his last two games against the Flames in Edmonton, including a 5-0 victory on Feb. 4 in which he made 24 saves.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots for Calgary on Friday, and has given up 19 goals in four games in 2008-09. Over his last five games in Edmonton, though, Kiprusoff is 4-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA and one shutout.

Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray, who had two assists on Friday, suffered an undisclosed injury and didn't play in the third period. His status for this game is not immediately known.

After signing a five-year contract, Souray appeared in only 26 games last season due to arm and shoulder injuries.

EA SPORTS NHL09 Game Predictions
Three Stars
A. cogliano
c - Edm

g: 1 | A: 1
r. nilsson
lw - CGY

g: 1 | a: 0
l. visnovsky

g: 0 | A: 1


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