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Flames, Oilers resume Battle of Alberta

The Battle of Alberta kicks off tonight between the homestanding Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome.

Calgary dominated last season's series with the Oilers by a 5-1-0 margin, including a 3-0 mark as the host, and has won 12 of 13 and 14 of the previous 16 matchups between the Northwest Division rivals.

Edmonton is winless in its last eight trips to the Saddledome.

The Flames blew a 2-0 lead in Saturday's 3-2 loss at Toronto in the finale of a three-game road trip and have allowed at least three goals in three of their four contests this season. Curtis Glencross and Scott Hannan both lit the lamp and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, the franchise's all-time leader in wins, stopped 22 of the 25 shots that went his way.

"We lost, it isn't something that we're proud of as a team," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. "When you have a lot of turnovers and play a chance-to- chance game, your team isn't going to win many of those. It just wasn't smart hockey."

Sutter is expected to be without center Mikael Backlund (finger), forward Raitis Ivanans (concussion) and defenseman Brett Carson (back). Center Brendan Morrison is nursing a balky knee and is a game-time decision. Morrison has been sidelined since March and underwent surgery in the offseason.

"I think Mo is getting really close," Sutter told the club's site. "We'll take it day-to-day and see where he's at."

Star Jarome Iginla is 15 goals short of 500 in his career for the Flames, who will also host the Rangers, Predators, Avalanche, Blues and Canucks on their six-game residency. Iginla has only one goal in four games this season after registering 43 a year ago.

Edmonton needed some third-period heroics to pull out a 3-1 win versus Nashville last night, as Ryan Smyth scored the go-ahead goal in the final stanza to lead the way.

Shawn Horcoff collected three assists, while Taylor Hall and Ryan Jones both found the back of the net in the third period for the Oilers, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin had 11 saves on 12 shots.

"It was an all-around 60-minute game from everyone tonight," said Smyth, who also added an assist. "We played physical and got pucks to the net and when you do that good things will happen."

After Tuesday's game in Calgary, the Oilers will return home to face the Wild, Rangers, Canucks and Capitals. On the injury front, Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney and center Sam Gagner are nursing ankle injuries and forward Ales Hemsky is still bothered by a shoulder problem.

Oilers young star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins posted his first assist last night. The top pick in this year's draft had scored four goals in the past three games.