G76 Game Notes: Oilers look to win season series over Flames in final Battle of Alberta match of 2023-24

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
28 days ago
The Calgary Flames will host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night for what’ll be the fourth and final Battle of Alberta of the 2023-24 season.
1. The Oilers have won two of three games against the Flames so far this year, meaning a win on Saturday for Edmonton would clinch their second consecutive season series victory in the Battle of Alberta. Edmonton won the Heritage Classic back in October by a score of 5-2 and edged out a 3-1 victory in Calgary in January. The Flames picked up their first win over the Oilers with a 6-3 win in Edmonton in February.
The last time the Flames won the season series in the Battle of Alberta was back in 2019-20 when the two teams played four very competitive games within the span of just over one month. Since then, the Oilers have won the season series three times and the team split their four head-to-heads in 2021-22. Edmonton also won the second-round playoff series against Calgary in five games that season, as well.
2. The Flames sold off veterans Elias Lindholm, Chris Tanev, and Noah Hanifin ahead of the trade deadline and have fallen down the standings in the latter part of the season. Since the deadline, Calgary has gone 3-10-0 and the team currently owns a 34-36-5 record.
The Flames have the eighth-best draft lottery odds right now but that could improve if they continue to slide. They’re three points up on the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators and they’re four points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes.
The highest selection the Flames have ever had in a draft was the fourth overall pick in 2013, which they used on Sam Bennett. Calgary has had the sixth overall pick multiple times in team history and they’ve had a mixed bag of results at that spot. They landed Matt Tkachuk in 2016, Sean Monahan in 2013, and Cory Stillman in 1992 but selected a pair of busts in 1997 and 1998 with Daniel Tkaczuk and Rico Fata.
3. The Oilers clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season with a commanding win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. They’re now 46-24-5 on the season, five points behind the Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.
While the Oilers face the Flames on Saturday, the Canucks will be in Los Angeles playing the Kings at the same time. Edmonton and Vancouver will both host the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes next week and then the Oilers and Canucks will meet for their final head-to-head of the regular season on Saturday.
The Oilers will be on the second leg of a back-to-back in that game while the Canucks will have the benefit of a few days of rest. Edmonton needs some help from the out-of-town scoreboard in the coming days but they also have to get the job done against non-playoff teams like Calgary and Arizona if they’re going to catch Vancouver.
4. Beyond the standings, another very interesting race to follow over the final weeks of the season is the one for the Art Ross Trophy. Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning currently leads the league in scoring with 133 points, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche is right behind him with 131 points, and Connor McDavid is in third with 128 points. The Lightning have six games left to play, the Avs have five, and the Oilers have seven.
With 97 assists, McDavid is three away from becoming just the fourth player in league history to record 100 assists in a single season. Wayne Gretzky reached 100 assists in a single season 11 times in his career while Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux each did so once, in 1970-71 and 1989-90, respectively.


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