Although the Calgary Flames are eliminated from the playoffs, they are looking to play spoiler against the Oilers tonight.
“For us, it’s kind of like a playoff atmosphere and we’re playing teams that are desperate to get in. The intensity is at it’s best,” said head coach Bob Hartley.
The Flames are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory last night in Calgary, as they stole a valuable two points from the Phoenix Coyotes. Keith Yandle tied the game late in the third period but Mark Giordano scored Calgary’s game winner with 23.1 seconds left in OT.
Joey MacDonald started the game last night against the Coyotes but Hartley confirmed MacDonald will be in net tonight against the Oilers.
“The way he played last night, we felt he deserved another start tonight. Mac has been unbelievable for us from the first day he got in. He’s a great guy, the players play hard for him and he’s great in the room, he’s great in practices. He has worked hard, putting in time during practice and video sessions, which have been paying off for him. Last night, he was real solid and tonight, he’ll try and do the same thing.
MacDonald is playing in his first back-to-back game this season and said, although the Flames are out of the playoffs, they still have a reason to play.
“It’s one of those things, you want to show up every night and work 100 per cent. In the last couple of games, we’ve been playing well and we’ve picked up a few points. We’re not playing for a playoff spot but we are playing for jobs and sports for next year. There’s a lot of pride in the room and when you get a chance to strap on the NHL jersey, the Flames jersey, you’re playing for pride.”
It’s the last Battle of Alberta game this season and the last time these two teams met (12-3), the Oilers outscored the Flames.
Mike Cammalleri said the Flames are looking to move forward from the losses and continue building on their success they’ve had in the last couple of games.
“It almost seems like a while ago and we’ve had some better effort as of late, so we’re looking forward to continuing those and reflecting on what didn’t go well.”
“It’s the Battle of Alberta despite where we stand and there’s always a little added juice to these games. They’ve had some success against us but it should be a lot more spirited tonight.”