Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oilers Update Flames vs Oilers - Battle of Alberta

After knocking off the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, tonight the Edmonton Oilers will now face the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome, for the final time this season.

The Calgary Flames are literally in a do-or-die situation as they now sit only 2 points back of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks for the 8th and final spot in the west.  The Oilers on the other hand have one last chance to play spoiler; and finally diffuse the Flames' play-off hopes with a win tonight.

Head coach Tom Renney is just itching to see how his club will respond against their southern enemies.

"This is such a great rivalry and it's a great opportunity to be a part of the Battle of Alberta and I think our guys have identified with that all year long," said Tom Renney.

"And I think, too, with how we handled our last game in Edmonton (against Calgary) we want to make sure we're better than that for 60 minutes."

Losses by the Blackhawks and Ducks, coupled with two road wins have given the Flames that one last mulligan for post season hockey. 

"We came on the road, won two big games, and it's tightened the gap up for us," Flames Coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday. "Now we're right there again. Let's see what happens with other games. Let's get ourselves ready for our next opponent."

Sophomore Goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been red hot for the Oilers in his last two starts after stopping 76 out of 77 shots.  However, Dubnyk will ride the pine tonight as Nikolai Khabibulin will hover above the blue paint.

"I'm going to go with Khabi tonight,"  said Renney. "I'm going to make sure he gets a couple of games down the stretch here and see how that plays itself out at the end of the day." 

Defenceman, Taylor Chorney will draw into tonight after being side-lined since Feb 22nd with a knee problem, however fellow D-man Tom Gilbert will once again sit out due to a back problem.  Also, forwards Gilbert Brule and Colin Fraser are still out with injury until some time.

Flames vs Oilers tonight 6:38 Pacific Sportsnet West

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