Oilers-Flames Preview

The Associated Press

The Edmonton Oilers own the worst record in the NHL.

The Calgary Flames aren't much better.

The longtime Canadian rivals are growing increasingly frustrated as they both look to end five-game losing streaks Saturday night in the opener of their season series at Calgary.

Edmonton (4-15-2) has a league-worst 10 points, while the Flames (6-10-3) own just five more for the second-worst mark in the Western Conference - and neither team looks like it's going anywhere anytime soon.

The Oilers are in the midst of a 1-9-1 stretch while being held to one goal or none in six of those games. A lack of offense was the culprit again in Friday's 3-1 loss to San Jose.

"I'm so tired of coming in here after games and giving a reason why we lost," left wing Taylor Hall said. "You have to win. It doesn't matter how you win, if your goalie stands on his head or you get lucky, you just have to win games.

"It's been tough to do that this year. We're all trying really hard, but we're not winning games. Something is not clicking for us, and we have to figure out what that is."

If there's one team that can empathize with Edmonton's plight, it's the Flames.

They've been outscored 22-10 during an 0-4-1 stretch, and they haven't held a lead over the last four games. Calgary never even came close to doing that Thursday night, giving up five goals in a row before falling 7-3 against Dallas.

Through all their struggles, coach Bob Hartley is trying to build his team's psyche back up.

"You need to let go of frustration," Hartley told the team's official website. "Obviously in our situation, frustration builds. That's for sure. Confidence goes and when confidence goes, frustration settles in. That's a fact of the human nature.

"There's nothing that we can do about our past few games. We can only learn from them. We have a good group and I believe in those guys."

Michael Cammalleri will try to get back on the score sheet after he was a minus-2 against the Stars. He had five goals over the five previous games, and leads the team with eight. However, the center has just one assist and a minus-4 rating over his last four meetings with Edmonton.

Ladislav Smid is looking forward to facing his former team after being dealt to Calgary in a four-player trade Nov. 8. He's still looking for his first point with the Flames after failing to even muster a shot over his first two games.

"For sure I'm going to chirp some guys right before the game," Smid told the team's official website. "I'm sure they're going to be chirping me in the pregame warmup as well. I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a little bit different for me."

The Oilers - who are 23rd in the league averaging 2.29 goals on the season - are hoping Nail Yakupov can find the net with some regularity after scoring twice in three games. He had just one goal in his first 16 games after leading Edmonton with 17 tallies as a rookie last season.

The right wing scored three goals and set up another in four meetings with the Flames, netting two in an 8-2 victory in the most recent meeting at Calgary on April 3.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four points in that game, while Jordan Eberle had two goals to give him seven points over the last three visits to Scotiabank Saddledome.