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Hordichuk ready to add toughness to Alberta rivalry

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY, Alberta – With the "Battle Of Alberta" considered among the League's most physical rivalries, Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger has opted to install one of the team’s tougher forwards into the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Darcy Hordichuk will see his first action of the season when the Oilers visit the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome, and the 6-foot, 1-inch forward is expecting to spice up what should be a spirited affair between the provincial rivals.

"I think that’s why they’re putting me in there, to bring that physicality," Hordichuk said. "It’s going to be a fun game to play and every time we play these guys they’ve been a tough team to play against."

Hordichuk will also be tasked with keeping an eye on some of the Oilers’ young stars. With Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov all in the lineup, it’s Hordichuk’s responsibility to make sure the opposition doesn’t take liberties with Edmonton’s core.

"I know I’m a big brother," he said. "You get so many guys to look after. This team, you’ve got guys like Yak and Hallsy and Ebs and Nuge and Schutlzie (Justin Schultz) – it’s fun. I think it’s a role that is needed on the team and I look forward to doing what I do best.”

Here are the possible line combinations for the Oilers:

Taylor HallRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

Nail YakupovSam GagnerAles Hemsky

Ryan SmythShawn HorcoffMagnus Paajarvi

Darcy HordichukEric BelangerLennart Petrell

Ladislav SmidJeff Petry

Nick SchultzJustin Schultz

Ryan WhitneyMark Fistric

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Danis

Injured: Ben Eager, Ryan Jones, Nikolai Khabibulan, Theo Peckham, Andy Sutton

Scratched: Teemu Hartikainen, Corey Potter

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