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Oilers shoot for fourth straight, host Flames

by Brian Hunter

FLAMES (13-16-4) at OILERS (14-13-7)


Last 10: Calgary 4-6-0; Edmonton 6-2-2

Season series: Second of four meetings between these Northwest Division rivals, and the beginning of a home-and-home. Lee Stempniak had a goal and two assists to lead the Flames to a 4-3 win in Calgary on Jan. 26.

Big story: The first edition of the Battle of Alberta in ages to be staged without Jarome Iginla on the Flames' roster features the Oilers trying to continue their push at a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Calgary actually has one more regulation/OT win this season (13 to 12), but Edmonton has taken advantage of picking up a point out of seven of its losses to hold a five-point edge over its provincial rival.

Team Scope:

Flames: It remains to be seen if Calgary will continue to be in "sell" mode in these final days leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, but in their first game after dealing Iginla to Pittsburgh, the Flames lost 6-4 on home ice to the Blue Jackets and currently sit just two points ahead of the 15th-place Avalanche in the Western Conference standings. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Mike Cammalleri are prime targets to be playing their final game in a Flames uniform.

"We can make excuses. We can say what we want about what's happened, the speculation, but at the end of the day, as players, we've got to come out and play hard," forward Matt Stajan said following Friday's defeat.

Oilers: An early four-goal blitz against Vancouver on Saturday night and steady play from Devan Dubnyk in net powered Edmonton to a 4-0 victory, its third in a row. Taylor Hall and Ladislav Smid scored on the Oilers' first two shots against Cory Schneider, who was chased just 2:05 into the game. They didn't let up on his replacement, Roberto Luongo, as Hall completed his hat trick before eight minutes of game time had elapsed. Dubnyk never let the Canucks get any thoughts about a comeback, stopping 23 shots for his sixth career shutout.

"It was fun to be a part of," Dubnyk said. "We were just doing everything right. We continued to do good things all game."

Who's hot: Hall is heating up for the Oilers with five goals and three assists during a four-game points streak. He also set an Edmonton record Saturday for fastest hat trick from the start of a game, breaking a mark held by Wayne Gretzky.

"Any time you can break one of 'The Great One's' records is a huge honor," Hall said.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins assisted on two of the goals and has seven assists in his past four games.

Injury report: Calgary forward Lance Bouma (hand) is on injured reserve. … Edmonton forward Eric Belanger (groin) is on injured reserve.

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