The Battle of Alberta is set to head outdoors for the first time as the historic rivals clash Sunday at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton for the 2023 Heritage Classic.
Both teams enter the game reeling, with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames sputtering out of the gate to begin their respective seasons. The Oilers appear to have confirmed that Connor McDavid will play, as the superstar has made an unlikely return to the lineup. The pivot has been ailing from an upper-body injury sustained last Saturday, as Edmonton languishes near the basement of the Pacific Division with a 1-5-1 record.
Calgary, meanwhile, once again finds itself struggling to score — and get saves. They'll look to get back on track amidst a 2-5-1 start, which includes a minus-12 goal differential that ranks bottom-five in the league.
Both teams will be looking to grab some momentum from the showdown under the lights as the NHL celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first-ever Heritage Classic between the Oilers and Montreal Canadiens.
Here's what you need to know ahead of the big clash:
Where to watch the 2023 NHL Heritage Classic
Date: Sunday, Oct. 29
Game: Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. MT
TV Channel: Sportsnet
What are the expected lines for Edmonton, Calgary at 2023 Heritage Classic?
Neither club has provided much insight into who they'll be lining up, with the most notable storyline to follow being the health of McDavid. It looks as though after much deliberation, Connor McDavid will line up for the Edmonton Oilers on their top line for the marquee matchup.
The Flames, meanwhile, have continued to shuffle their lines throughout the early part of the season while trying to find the right mix. The Flames have built a new look top line with Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and rookie Matthew Coronato.
Draisaitl - McDavid - Foegele
Kane - RNH - Hyman
Holloway - McLeod - Brown
Erne - Janmark - Ryan
Nurse - Ceci
Ekholm - Broberg
Kulak - Bouchard
What makes this Heritage Classic notable?
This year's contest marks the 20th anniversary of the first Heritage Classic between the Oilers and Canadiens. Hosted on November 22, 2003, also at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, the Canadiens won 4-3 in a back-and-forth tilt.
The Heritage Classic marked the NHL's first foray into outdoor games, and served as the basis for the league's further expansion into other marquee events like the Winter Classic and Stadium Series later in the decade.
Sunday's game will also be the third outdoor game in Oilers history, with their most recent trip outside coming on the road in 2016 against the Winnipeg Jets. The 2023 event also marks the third outdoor game in Flames history, having previously played in the 2011 and 2019 Heritage Classics, both of which took place in Regina, Saskatchewan.