NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 7th
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (31-43-7) at Calgary Flames (43-27-10), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will try to clinch the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Western Conference tonight, when they welcome the rival
Edmonton Oilers to the Saddledome.
Calgary can seal a trip to the postseason with a win tonight and render
Sunday's regular-season finale in Colorado meaningless. The Flames and Avs
each have two games left in the regular season and Calgary's 96 points gives
it a three-point edge over Colorado.
The Flames dropped their second straight game on Thursday night, as they were
handed a 4-3 setback in San Jose. Joe Thornton led the way for the Sharks as
he recorded two assists to become just the third player in NHL history to post
back-to-back 90-assist seasons.
Jarome Iginla registered two goals and an assist and Miikka Kiprusoff ended
with 38 saves for the Flames, who could have clinched the final playoff berth
with a win.
Calgary has been the NHL's best team at home this year, posting a 30-8-2 mark
at the Saddledome. This will be the Flames final regular-season game at home
Edmonton's season will mercifully come to an end tonight, as the club tries to
put the breaks on a six-game skid. Last year's Western Conference champions
have just 69 points this year and have dropped 18 of their last 19 contests
dating back to February 25.
The Oilers were most recently swept in a two-game series in Minnesota, as the
Wild won both contests by a 3-0 score. The last setback came on Thursday, when
Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves to backstop the Wild.
Jussi Markkanen finished with 26 saves for Edmonton, which has dropped nine in
a row on the road. The Oilers are 12-24-4 as the visiting team this year.
The Flames have won five of seven contests against the Oilers this year and
have taken eight of the last 11 encounters overall. Edmonton has also been
defeated in four straight trips to the Saddledome.
04/07 11:16:56 ET