Flames Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. Can Roli keep Oil slick?: Goalie Dwayne Roloson has been carrying a heavy workload on his 39-year-old body. He's started the last 14 games and appeared in 23 of 24 games and 30 of the last 32. The ex-Flames goalie has played more than 50 games in only one season over his career. Edmonton is hanging to its playoff position by a thread, so the Oilers will need Roloson to be their version of Miikka Kiprusoff and keep minding the twine night after night.

2. We need more power: The Flames powerplay continues to struggle and has been more of a hindrance than help of late, too. Not only are the Flames with only two powerplay goals in 29 chances over the past eight games, they've been victimized for a shorthanded in both of the past two contests. They've scored more than one powerplay goal in only one of the past 17 games.

3. Who'll score now?: Losing Rene Bourque is a bigger hit than anyone could have imagined before the season. Consider he's tied with Jarome Iginla with a career-best 21 goals, and been the biggest secondary-scoring producer for the team. Calgary needs Iginla to step up his game as others such as David Moss, Curtis Glencross and Todd Bertuzzi to add more consistent offence.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

FLAMES

C Dustin Boyd: With Daymond Langkow's status up in the air and Rene Bourque out, the Flames will lean more on the third-year pro. Boyd did a wonderful job to score the tying goal Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild -- he won the draw and then scored on the rebound -- and will be counted on to do more of the same in the coming games, since he'll likely be elevated to a bigger role.

OILERS

RW Zack Stortini: Sure, you may scoff at this, but consider a couple of stats. Stortini, the subject of so much derision among Flames fans, has three goals in the last seven games and leads the NHL with 18 fights. He's earning a bigger role on the Oilers. That may be indicting on a handful of other forwards, but Stortini is doing his job to the letter and paying his dues, so he deserves some credit.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

The Flames held an optional practice yesterday in Edmonton after flying directly from Minnesota ... The Wild game was the first time in five outings Calgary held the opposition to fewer than 30 shots on goal (27), something goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff had to appreciate. "We didn't need Kipper to make ridiculous saves all night, so we're happy to get that down," said D Adrian Aucoin ... As poorly as the Flames played during the second period of the Minnesota game, they held the Wild to just one shot in the third period ... An area to watch for the Flames to dominate tonight is faceoffs. Edmonton has struggled on the dot all season, while Calgary has improved that area immensely, especially Craig Conroy ... Edmonton has struggled somewhat at home this season -- 13-11-3 -- and is starting a four-game homestand ... Much of Edmonton's attack is stemming from the defence. Three of the team's top five scorers are blueliners, with Sheldon Souray leading the brigade with 37 points. He is second on the team with his 15 goals and is first with nine powerplay goals. Tom Gilbert (34 points) and the now injured Lubomir Visnovsky (31 points) lead all but two of the club's forwards in offensive production ... Edmonton is slated to wear its third jersey tonight for the 11th time this season. The Oilers are 4-4-2 when wearing them ... Erik Cole's goal in San Jose was his first goal and first point in 10 games ... LW J.F. Jacques played in Dallas, his first game after more than a year out with a back injury, and netted an assist. He was a plus-one in nearly five minutes of action. His last NHL game was Oct. 30, 2007. "It was a really good thing for me to have eight games down there (Springfield) in a short stint. I got into a scrap down there and got a couple of hits and it felt good. I feel like I can bring a little bit of physical play up here," he told Sun Media.


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