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GAME PREVIEW: Game 49/56 Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

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Last Battle of Alberta this season gives Edmonton a chance to come back from Thursday’s disappointing output.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (29-17-2, 2nd in North) vs

Calgary Flames (22-24-3, 5th in North)

01 May 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

The Oilers looked like a club playing their second game in as many nights as they dropped the latest installment of the Battle of Alberta by a 3-1 margin. Elias Lindholm scored a pair of goals for the Flames en route to their victory. James Neal picked up his fourth goal of the season for the Oilers, but the club otherwise looked out of gas. Officiating was reminiscent of a recent game against the Canadiens, and the Oilers would like to forget this one as soon as they remember it. They’ll get the chance to right the ship tonight as both teams clash at Rogers Place again. Can the Oilers grab two points?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

We were sloppy with the puck, turned a lot of pucks over...Smith was really good in goal, gave us a chance, and we had some chances and didn’t bury anything.

Source

That’s Oilers coach Dave Tippett on Edmonton’s 3-1 loss to the Flames on Thursday night.

The Oilers were gassed and nothing went their way. Mike Smith made 27 of 30 saves, and Tippett shortened his bench by a lot in order to try and get something going. Leon Draisaitl played almost thirty minutes by the time this one was over.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

I try to play the same way every game, and it seems to work [against Edmonton]

Source

That’s Flames forward Elias Lindholm on his club’s 3-1 win over the Oilers on Thursday night.

Lindholm had a pair for the Flames, including the game-winner midway through the second period when he deflected a shot from Rasmus Anderson. Lindholm currently leads the Flames with 43 points (17-26-43) on the season.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Coach Tippett brought Kris Russell in for Caleb Jones in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Flames, but it’s a fair bet that Russell is out tonight after suffering a lower body injury from a Matthew Tkachuk hit. Barring an injury, there’s no good excuse for keeping Caleb Jones out of the lineup. The pairing of Russell / Bear was especially dreadful with a 14.5 xGF.
  • POINTLESS: Connor McDavid was held without a point in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Flames, and still needs 16 points in eight games to hit 100 on the season. Two points per game seems like a lot until you realize that 97 might be able to score two points while in the midst of a nap.
  • Leon Draisaitl played 28:49 in Thursday night’s loss to the Flames. It seems like a lot, because it’s nearly half the game. Coach shortened his bench by a considerable margin in this one, Gaetan Haas and Devin Shore played eight minutes and change. It’s time to bring Tyler Ennis back to the lineup for Devin Shore, I don’t think there’s any question there.
  • NET GAINS: I’d expect Mike Smith to get another start tonight (17-6-2, .922 SV% / 2.35 GAA / 3 SO), and we’ll likely see Mikko Koskinen in one of the two games against the Canucks early next week. The Flames will likely counter with Jacob Markstrom (18-17-2, .905 SV% / 2.68 GAA / 3 SO). Markstrom stopped all but one of Edmonton’s 31 shots to pick up the win on Thursday.
  • ETC: Calgary remains six points out of the playoffs and will be desperate to gain ground tonight. The Canadiens are gaining ground on Winnipeg and are now just four points away from the Jets with a game in hand. The Jets have lost six straight games. The Oilers’ best case scenario looks to be second place in the North Division as they are a full nine points behind the Leafs with nine games to go. Will they face the Jets or the Canadiens in round one?
  • This is the last Battle of Alberta this season. Win it.