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Oilers-Flames Preview @NHLdotcom
Oilers-Flames Preview

GAME: Edmonton Oilers (22-13-4) at Calgary Flames (22-12-4).

TIME: Saturday, 10 p.m. EST.

Either the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames will have a truly happy New Year by leading the Northwest Division heading into 2006 as the provincial rivals meet.

The Oilers moved into a tie with the Flames atop the Northwest with their 4-2 win Friday over the Nashville Predators. Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth each had a goal and assist for Edmonton, which has won six of eight and salvaged a split of its four-game homestand.

Jarrett Stoll also had a goal for the Oilers, extending his points streak to five games. Stoll has two goals and five assists during his streak, and the 23-year-old center already has set a career high in goals (12) and assists (24).

Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky has just six assists in 14 lifetime games against the Flames.

The Flames have won three of their last four games, including a 4-2 victory Thursday over the Minnesota Wild. Steve Reinprecht and Jason Wiemer scored third-period goals for Calgary, which scored on the power play for the seventh consecutive game.

"We haven't played the 60 minutes like we wanted to lately, and tonight, we played good," said Reinprecht, who has four goals and three assists his last six games. "We battled from behind a couple of times and we came out hard in the third and that's what our identity is."

Flames captain Jarome Iginla continues to struggle. He has no points his last three games and just four goals and four assists his last 17 contests. Iginla has at least one point in all four games against the Oilers this season, totaling one goal and three assists.

STANDINGS: Oilers - 48 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division. Flames - 48 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Smyth, 15 goals; Horcoff, 28 assists; Stoll, Hemsky and Horcoff, 36 points; Ethan Moreau, 53 PIM. Flames - Iginla, 15 goals and 30 points; Iginla and Andrew Ference, 15 assists; Wiemer, 65 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Oilers - Power play: 18.4 percent (45 for 244), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (200 for 242), 14th. Flames - Power play: 17 percent (190 for 229), 16th. Penalty killing: 82.5 percent (193 for 234), 15th.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (12-9-3, 0 SO, 3.08 GAA); Mike Morrison (5-1-0, 2.35). Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (19-10-4, 5, 2.26); Philippe Sauve (3-2-0, 2.62).


LAST MEETING: Dec. 19; Oilers, 5-4. At Edmonton, Alberta, Fernando Pisani scored with 45 seconds to play as the Oilers rallied from a two-goal deficit by scoring three unanswered goals. Kristian Huselius had a goal and an assist for the Flames.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 12-7-2 on the road; Flames - 13-4-2 at home.

Associated Press
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