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The Edmonton Oilers will look to put away the Calgary Flames on the road in Game Five. The Oilers lost Game One 9-6 but responded with three straight wins. There has not been much defense in this series, with a combined 36 goals in four games.
The Edmonton Oilers had a strong season, but they have stepped up their play in the Playoffs. They beat the Los Angeles Kings in the First Round in seven games but have been an offensive juggernaut in the Second. They have won their last three games and scored 14 goals in the process.
The Oilers’ Playoff offense has been spearheaded by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evander Kane. McDavid has been the best player in the league during the Playoffs and has 25 points in almost 22 minutes a game. Draisaitl is right behind McDavid with 22 points; he is scoring on 24% of his shots and also has 15 assists. Finally, we have Evander Kane. Kane leads the NHL with 12 Playoff goals. He is an electric scorer and incredibly hard to stop.
After spending much of the season as the backup goaltender, Mike Smith has stepped into the starting role and has not disappointed. The 40-year-old netminder has a .931 save percentage and seven wins in 11 games played.
The Calgary Flames do not have any players as dangerous as Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. However, they have a few skilled players in Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Elias Lindholm. Gaudreau had an incredible 115 points during the season and has 13 points during the Playoffs. Matthew Tkachuk also had an impressive season. He had 104 regular season points and has ten points in the playoffs. Elias Lindholm has not played as well as Gaudreau and Tkachuk in the Playoffs, but he has been able to score a handful of times. He has five goals on 33 shots and also has a few assists. If Calgary wants any chance of winning, these three players have to step up.
Jacob Markstrom has been in net for almost every minute of the Playoffs. He is the better choice of Calgary’s two options, but he could perform better. He sees less than 30 shots a game and is still allowing almost 2.8 goals per game. Markstrom needs to step up his game in this battle to keep Calgary’s season alive.
Calgary was the better team during the season and playing at home, so I expect them to win this game and keep their season alive.
|Edmonton Oilers||Head-to-Head||Calgary Flames|
|Jay Woodcroft||Head Coach||Darryl Sutter|
|49-27-6 (2nd in Pacific Division)||Standing||50-21-11 (1st in Pacific Division)|
|Connor McDavid (25)||Points||Johnny Gaudreau (13)|
|Evander Kane (12)||Goals||Elias Lindholm (5)|
|Connor McDavid (19)||Assists||Johnny Gaudreau (11)|
|Connor McDavid (17)||+/-||Mikael Backlund (6)|
|Evander Kane (4.18)||Shots (Per Game)||Johnny Gaudreau (4)|
The Edmonton Oilers are the obvious favorites and will win if they draw penalties and slow down Johnny Gaudreau.
The Oilers have played very well on the power-play in the Playoffs. They are converting over 26% of their power-play attempts and averaging a productive 3.45 power-plays per game. The Oilers have to keep drawing penalties and will score if they do.
Johnny Gaudreau is averaging over one point a game during the Playoffs. He only has two goals but leads the Oilers with 11 assists. Gaudreau is finding his teammates and setting them up to score, which is why the Oilers’ defensemen need to slow him down. If Gaudreau is out of the picture, Calgary will be much more limited offensively.
The Calgary Flames need this win to keep their season alive and will do so if they slow down Connor McDavid and score the first goal.
Connor McDavid is on an incredible run. The 25-year-old has six goals and 19 assists in 11 games. His impact on the Oilers has been incredibly positive, as evidenced by his +/- of 17. The Flames have to slow him down and stop him from scoring or setting up his teammates.
The Flames’ fans are going to come out in full force in this elimination game. They will bring an energy that is only seen when a team may be playing their final game of the season. Since that is the case, the Flames need to score first and let the crowd go crazy. The crowd’s energy will push them to a victory and keep their season alive.
Evander Kane has an incredible 12 goals in 11 Playoff games. He has been on the receiving end of many Leon Draisaitl, and Connor McDavid passes and is scoring at an efficient 26.1%.
Kane does not need to change anything about this game. He just needs to keep executing when he gets a scoring opportunity.
Matthew Tkachuk has been a solid second fiddle to Johnny Gaudreau in the Playoffs. His four goals are tied for second-most on the team, and his six assists are also the second-most.
Tkachuk has to look for his opportunities in this game. Edmonton will likely be focusing much of their efforts on Johnny Gaudreau, so Matthew Tkachuk should have some solid scoring chances.
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|Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames Information|
|What||Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames|
|Where||Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta|
|When||Thursday, May 26, 9:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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