Oilers-Flames Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 25, 2013
The Calgary Flames are still getting adjusted to new coach Bob Hartley's style. The Edmonton Oilers are off to a nice start under rookie coach Ralph Krueger. Calgary will try to avoid opening with three straight home losses for the first time since 2000-01 on Saturday night when these provincial Northwest Division rivals open their season series. Hired last May after the team missed the playoffs each of the last three seasons under coach Brent Sutter, Hartley is back in the NHL for the first time since getting fired six games into the 2007-08 season with the Atlanta Thrashers. Hartley led Colorado to the 2001 Stanley Cup title. Flames left wing Alex Tanguay played on that club, and he feels it's just a matter of time before the team gets used to their fifth coach since the 2004-05 lockout. "We just haven't been able to put a full game together, but we're starting to figure out the way Coach Hartley wants us to play,'' he said after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss at Vancouver. "We're starting to get more used to what we have to do out there, and I think that tonight in the latter part of the game was a good example of that.'' The Flames (0-2-1), one of two winless teams in the Western Conference along with defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles, need to play better at home. They fell 4-1 to San Jose on Sunday before losing 5-4 to visiting Anaheim a day later. The last time Calgary opened without a win in its first four games was 1999-2000, when it started 0-3-0 with a tie, but the Oilers (2-1-0) are trying to reverse their own trend of slow starts. They were 2-2-2 through six games last season and 2-4-2 in their first eight of 2010-11. The Oilers finished with the league's fewest points in two of the last three seasons, but Krueger is hoping a young roster full of former first-round picks will end a playoff drought that dates to 2005-06. Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall each have a goal and two assists, as does rookie free agent defenseman Jordan Schultz, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has set up two scores. Last year's No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov leads Edmonton with two goals after netting the tying score with 4.7 seconds left in regulation on Thursday against Los Angeles. Gagner scored 3:01 into overtime to give the Oilers a 2-1 win. "You have to love the compete in the group," said Krueger, Tom Renney's associate coach in Edmonton each of the last two seasons. " ... The persistence at the end of the game showed truly the character of this group. To finish it off in overtime was a very mature step in a very difficult situation emotionally.'' The Oilers have just three victories in 18 matchups against their Alberta rivals since the start of 2009-10, but they've won the last two, with Eberle recording a goal and two assists each time. Edmonton's 6-1 victory on Feb. 21 ended a 10-game skid in Calgary and a nine-game losing streak in this series. Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, who tied for the team lead with four assists and six points in six games against the Oilers last season, is still looking for his first goal. The last time he didn't find the back of the net in the first four games was 2003-04. Tanguay, Curtis Glencross and Lee Stempniak each have two goals to lead the Flames.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker