The Battle of Alberta is officially on.
For the first time since 1991, the Flames and Oilers meet in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
That almost didn’t happen, as both teams were pushed to the brink in the first round. The Flames needed seven games to defeat the Stars, with Johnny Gaudreau picking up the overtime winner in Game 7 to send Calgary to the second round.
The Flames relied heavily on Jacob Markstrom and their defense, allowing just 14 goals against the Stars in seven games.
On the other side, the Oilers managed to pass the Kings in their first-round series. After Adrian Kemp put the Kings 3-2 in the series with their OT winner in Game 5, the Oilers won Game 6 by a score of 4-2, then Mike Smith shut out Los Angeles in Game 7 , Edmonton pulling off a 2-0 win.
Connor McDavid was sensational in the series, recording 14 points in the first round. He leads all skaters in this category in these playoffs, as well as 10 assists. Evander Kane’s seven goals in the series puts him tied with Kirill Kaprizov for the second most in the playoffs so far.
MORE: Playoff schedule: full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for each series
Here’s everything you need to know about the series between the Flames and the Oilers.
Key storyline: Can Mike Smith surpass Jacob Markstrom?
The only reason the Stars nearly stole the series from the Flames was because of Jake Oettinger’s play. twice he made more than 50 saves in a game, including Game 7 where the Flames outscored the Stars.
Smith had a sensational first round, posting a GAA of 2.29 and an SV% of 0.938. Over the past year, the goaltender has been the Oilers’ kryptonite, but Smith has proven he can be dependable in net.
The Oilers face a better defensive team in the Flames with a goalie in the net. Markstrom’s 1.63 GAA is tied with Darcy Kuemper for the lowest among goaltenders, adding an SV% of 0.940. If the Oilers want to advance to the Conference Finals, they’ll need Smith to be stellar again.
MORE: Championship odds, best bets to win the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup
Flames vs Oilers schedule, TV channels
|Wednesday May 17||in Calgary||9:30 p.m.||ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Friday May 20||in Calgary||10:30 p.m.||ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Sunday May 22||in Edmonton||8 p.m.||ESPN2, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|tuesday 24 may||in Edmonton||9:30 p.m.||ESPN, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|
|*Thursday May 26||in Calgary||Calgary||To be determined|
|*Saturday May 28||in Edmonton||Edmonton||To be determined|
|*Monday May 30||in Calgary||Calgary||To be determined|
Flames vs. Oilers Odds
Flames: To be determined
Lubricators: To be determined
Odds provided by Sports interactions
MORE: List of all Conn Smythe Trophy winners as playoff MVPs
Flames vs. Oilers prediction
This one is going to be fun. It’s definitely the one I look forward to the most.
But this game favors the Flames. The Oilers do not play a defensive game close to that of the Stars. They typically sacrifice defense for offense, which goes against Markstrom and a tough Flames blue line, which doesn’t bode well for the Oilers.
Edmonton and McDavid push Calgary, but the Flames get the job done.
Prediction: Flames in Sept.