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Derek Ryan ready to experience Edmonton Oilers side of Battle of Alberta

Derek Ryan will see a lot of familiar faces on the opposing team Saturday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.

Ryan, who signed with the Oilers in the off-season, spent the three previous seasons with the Flames.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends over there,” said Ryan. “There will still be a smile, a smirk, a comment every now and then. But we can kind of move on.”

Read more: Edmonton Oilers Zack Kassian set to return after injury in fight

Ryan was with the Flames last season when Darryl Sutter took over as head coach after Geoff Ward was fired in early March.

“I think Darryl is a great fit for that side,” explained Ryan.

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“He requires you to play a hard game. They’re going to be a hard forechecking team. I guarantee they come out tonight trying to put pucks behind our D, make our D turn, try to spend time in the O zone. In order to counter that, we need to get hold-ups, make sure they can’t get in our the forecheck as quickly as they want to.”

Read more: Edmonton Oilers survive shootout to open season with win over Vancouver Canucks

Ryan will centre Warren Foegele and Zack Kassian, who is back in action after missing Wednesday’s season opener.

“I think he’s a great player. He’s a great addition to our line. He brings physicality, some underrated skill, for sure,” said Ryan of Kassian.

“I think we’re just going to be a hard-working, hard-working line that likes to play in the O zone and try to create offence from there.”

“We talked about having a line that can play heavy, get around the opposition’s net, a little harder to play against. That’s a line we think can do that maybe a lot better than we had in the past,” said head coach Dave Tippett.

The Oilers’ expected lineup is:

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi
  • Hyman-RNH-Yamamoto
  • Foegele-Ryan-Kassian
  • Perlini-McLeod-Turris
  • Nurse-Barrie
  • Keith-Ceci
  • Koekkoek-Bouchard
  • Smith

The Oilers and Flames are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.

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