Flames, Oilers eye rebound effort in Edmonton
(SportsNetwork.com) - Neither the Calgary Flames or Edmonton Oilers looked sharp offensively in their first game following the Olympic break.
The two clubs look to rebound from respective shutout losses on Saturday night in a meeting at Rexall Place.
Both the Flames and Oilers returned to action on Thursday and neither was able to score a goal. Calgary was bested 2-0 by the Los Angeles Kings, while Edmonton was blanked 3-0 by the Minnesota Wild.
The Flames and Oilers are tied for the league lead with eight shutout losses each on the season.
Calgary coach Bob Hartley liked his team's effort on Thursday despite failing to get any of their 25 shots by Jonathan Quick in losing for the third time in four games.
"We had great jump and generated some good offense in the first period," said Hartley. "We did everything right except scoring goals tonight."
Joni Ortio made his NHL debut and yielded a goal just three minutes in, but settled down to total 22 saves.
Reto Berra, a member of Team Switzerland in the recent Olympics, will start tonight for the Flames and is 1-2-0 with a 1.66 goals against average versus the Oilers.
Defenseman Chris Butler is unlikely to play after suffering an injury versus the Kings. Derek Smith may replace him in the lineup and it would be his first game with Calgary since Jan. 7.
Edmonton, meanwhile, went into Thursday's game versus Minnesota 5-1-1 in its previous seven games, but saw Darcy Kuemper post a 21-save shutout.
Ben Scrivens stopped 18-of-21 shots for the Oilers, who started a five-game homestand on Thursday.
"A lot of rust on our part," said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. "We've got to be better. They had the same (Olympic) break as we did, and we did not play well."
Edmonton lost forward Nail Yakupov in the third period after taking a shot by a teammate off his ankle. It is unknown if he will be able to suit up tonight and he was replaced on the Oilers' top line in practice on Friday by Ales Hemsky.
The Oilers will start Ilya Bryzgalov and he is 10-7-1 with a 2.69 GAA in his career versus the Flames.
The Oilers are 2-0-1 versus the Flames this season and have won six of the last nine meetings overall. However, Calgary has claimed two straight and nine of its past 12 in Edmonton.
03/01 10:18:34 ET