EDMONTON -- Goals have been hard to come by for the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames of late.
Both teams were shut out in their previous game, heading into the latest edition of the Battle of Alberta on Saturday night at Rexall Place.
The Oilers lost 3-0 against the Minnesota Wild, while the Flames were blanked 2-0 by the Los Angeles Kings.
"You're certainly hoping it was just rust, the way we played the last game," Oilers left wing David Perron said. "We'll take it as that, move forward and try to have a good one [Saturday].
"It's always fun playing against Calgary. It's a team we're trying to catch in the standings right now and they probably don't want to go where we are right now. So we have to get the two points."
Jostling at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, both teams have had disappointing seasons. The Flames are currently at the beginning of a rebuilding phase, which saw them trade off assets last season in order to build through the NHL Draft.
The Oilers are four years into their rebuilding phase, yet have not been able to work their way closer to a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Regardless, a game against provincial rivals tends to bring the best out in each team.
"I'm excited to play in my first Battle of Alberta," Oilers left wing Matt Hendricks said. "We need to go out and play with our energy right away. We need to get our fans behind us, get our building behind us and good things will happen. We're definitely a better team when we play with the lead.
"Everyone around the League knows about the rivalry. You see it on Hockey Night in Canada all the time, it's an exciting series. The fans are very passionate about their hockey teams. It's not only teams clashing out there, it's the fans and the cities, so it's very exciting to be a part of."
The Oilers will be without right wing Nail Yakupov, out with a foot injury after being hit by a shot in the loss to the Wild.
Yakupov represents a part of the Oilers' future.
The Flames will also have their future on display Saturday, with Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne and Markus Granlund playing on the same line.
Granlund was recently called up by Calgary and made his NHL debut in the loss to Los Angeles.
"We're looking for offense, obviously," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "I don't think we can play much better than we've been playing, but goals are not going in at a pace that we would like to. We're trying to create new chemistry to see what we can get. For Granlund, we're trying to put him into an offensive role."
Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start in goal for the Oilers. Reto Berra starts for the Flames.
Here are the lineups for the Flames and Oilers.
Mike Cammalleri - Matt Stajan – David Jones
TJ Galiardi – Mikael Backlund – Jiri Hudler
Markus Granlund – Sean Monahan – Joe Colborne
Kevin Westgarth – Paul Byron – Lance Bouma
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Ladislav Smid – Dennis Wideman
Kris Russell – Chris Butler
Scratched: Derek Smith, Lee Stempniak, Chad Billins
Injured: Curtis Glencross (ankle sprain), Karri Ramo (lower body), Brian McGrattan (upper body)
Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Ales Hemsky
David Perron – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Boyd Gordon – Jesse Joensuu
Luke Gazdic – Ryan Smyth – Ryan Jones
Mark Fraser – Andrew Ference
Martin Marincin – Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz – Justin Schultz
Scratched: Corey Potter
Injured: Philip Larsen (illness), Nail Yakupov (foot), Anton Belov (undisclosed)