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

Report: Broncos negotiating deal with Malik Jackson

Michael Jordan wants Warriors to break Bulls record

Joe Mauer says concussions have affected his hitting

Kobe once tried to recruit Dirk Nowitzki to Lakers

Report: Broncos waiting on Manning to talk with Osweiler

NBA commish wants to look into hack-a-player issue

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jose Fernandez has 'soured' on Marlins brass

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Strength coach gives Georgia OL reality check about weather

Country singer wears Fournette LSU jersey after losing bet

Carrie Underwood trolls Ryan Johansen for kissing stick

DeMarcus Cousins on looking angry: 'I'm an ugly dude'

WATCH: Dustin Johnson's son steals Jordan Spieth's club

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

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

LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

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