Payback on tap tonight

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

Another banner raising.

Another fired-up home crowd.

And, the Calgary Flames hope, another victory for the hosts in Round 2 of this season's Battle of Alberta.

But it's not just another game. Tonight's rematch following Calgary and Edmonton's season opener Thursday -- a 3-1 victory for the Oilers -- couldn't come quickly enough for the Flames.

"It didn't go our way in the first game, we don't have to wait too long to play them again," said captain Jarome Iginla yesterday.

"We have a chance, in our building, to put things right in our minds."

It's not like the Flames' 2006-07 debut was a total disaster.

There were positives in their performance: Iginla's first goal, some great saves by Miikka Kiprusoff and, albeit a bit late, a glimpse of the kind of pressure the Flames can put on opponents when playing with intensity.

It's just losing back-to-back games against a division rival, especially the one located in your own province, puts you in an early hole in the critical season series.

"They're four-point games. We've got to rebound and even the season series real quick," said winger Darren McCarty, who is happy to be home for the rematch knowing a boisterous crowd will be there to cheer on the men in red.

"We have to do the same thing they did to us. We've got a bad taste in our mouth. When that happens, when you come home to the security of your building, that's usually a positive."

Many fans excited about the start of a new season expected a Flames win Thursday despite the fact the game was played in front of a hostile Rexall Place crowd following the unveiling of the Oilers' Western Conference Championship banner.

For some, anger no doubt followed the loss, along with discussions of who should be fired, traded or benched after the first regular-season disappointment. But there's no question those same people will scream their lungs off in appreciation when the Flames unwrap their Northwest Division title pennant before tonight's tilt.

"That's part of sports. I do it, too," said Iginla with a smile. "You look at other teams and you overreact one way or the other, whichever way. That's good. It's great that the fans are into it already. They want to beat the Oilers on the first game of the season, so do we. Now we want to beat them on the second.

"More than ever."


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