Coming off very different finishes to their respective most recent games, these provincial rivals meet Saturday night at Rexall Place.
Edmonton (13-10-3) ended a three-game slide by rallying for five goals in the third period of Friday’s 6-3 home win over Columbus. Ryan Jones(notes) notched his first career hat trick to lead the Oilers.
“Battling through adversity is important,” coach Tom Renney said. “It just develops more resiliency and resolve and gives you more arrows in your quiver. You learn how to do things, you just learn how to win hockey games.”
Calgary (10-12-2) hosted those same Blue Jackets on Thursday with the opposite result. The Flames blew a two-goal lead in the third period, allowing the tying goal with 58 seconds left before falling 4-3 in a shootout.
The third period proved decisive in the first meeting of the season between these teams. Jay Bouwmeester(notes) and Alex Tanguay(notes) scored late goals in a 2-1 win for the Flames on Oct. 18 at the Saddledome.
The Flames are converting at a 22.9 percent clip on the power play on the road - the NHL’s fourth-highest mark. That’s in stark contrast to their league-worst 4.4 power-play percentage at home.
“We’re a team that’s close to dead last in overall power play, we are dead last - I didn’t even know the numbers could go that low - in terms of our percentage at home,” general manager Jay Feaster said. “We need to improve.”
While that may be the case, Feaster also gave embattled coach Brent Sutter a vote of confidence Friday. The Flames have picked up five points over their last three games.
“This coaching staff has done a good job,” Feaster said. “They work hard. They have done a good job of teaching. We all know the results are not where they need to be.”
Devan Dubnyk(notes) made 36 saves Friday for Edmonton. He’s 0-2-1 with a 3.91 GAA against Calgary, while probable starter Nikolai Khabibulin(notes) has fared only slightly better, going 1-5-2 with a 3.45 GAA in his last eight appearances versus the Flames.
Calgary winger Jarome Iginla(notes) had gone six straight games in his hometown without a point before he had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win March 26, the Flames’ last visit to Rexall Place.