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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames

Oilers look to inch up the standings with a victory in tonight’s BOA

Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (36-24-5, 3rd, Pacific)

Calgary Flames (39-17-8, 1st, Pacific)

26 March 2022

Scotiabank Saddledome

8 PM MT

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

The Oilers played a good game against the San Jose Sharks and were rewarded for it with a 5-2 victory. Leon Draisaitl picked up goals, Kailer Yamamoto kept the good times rolling with a goal of his own, and new guy Derick Brassard scored his first as a member of the Oilers in the win. Evander Kane tapped home an empty-netter, and all was good in Edmonton on Thursday night. Mike Smith picked up his seventh win of the season after some acrobatic moments, the Oilers take two points and move on.

Another chapter in the Battle of Alberta will be written as the Oilers are down south to visit their provincial rivals. The Oilers would love nothing more than to take care of the Flames, in what could be a potential first round matchup come playoff time. The Flames would love to pick up their 40th win of the season with a win over the Oilers. Can the Oilers pick up two points in the unfriendly confines of the Dome tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We got a really good performance out of Mike Smith, and the team effort was able to spread the minutes out tonight, so it was a good win for the team.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft on Mike Smith’s performance on Thursday night. Smith turned aside 28 shots to pick up his seventh win on the year. There were perhaps a few acrobatic moments that perhaps didn’t need to be acrobatic moments in Mike Smith’s game, but you’ll take a win every day of the year. The win is Smith’s 7th of the season, his SV% inches closer to the .900 mark with 28 saves in 30 shots.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

“We’ve got a lot of offense on our team...Up and down our lineup, we’ve got a lot of smart players on our team this year. It’s been a lot of fun to be a part of and to watch.”

Source

That’s Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau on Calgary’s 4-2 over the Arizona Coyotes last night.

Gaudreau scored his 30th goal of the season in Calgary’s win. The Flames rank sixth in the league when it comes to goals per game (3.44).

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • ANOTHER TRICKY DAY: Connor McDavid had another two point night for the Oilers in their 5-2 win over the Sharks on Thursday, he’s nailed down 95 points to lead the league. In a not-too-distant second is Leon Draisaitl, with 90. McDavid might hit the century club by the time you’ve reached the end of this sentence. Another typical night for McDavid tonight could mean triple digits when the Oilers face the Coyotes early next week.
  • BACK AT IT: The Flames are playing their second game in as many nights. Edmonton is on a day’s rest, can the Oilers get a quick start against a Flames team that was in action last night?
  • BRASSY: No better way to help acclimate yourself to a new locker room than to score a goal in your debut. That’s exactly what Derick Brassard did for the Oilers. Brassard went for a net-front pass to a streaking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the puck ended up bouncing off Erik Karlsson’s skate for the goal. That’s a game winning goal, there’s not a better kind of goal you can score.
  • KUULY: Very early returns on Brett Kulak are good. Already, Kulak had the second most ice time among Edmonton’s left defencemen, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number tick upward in short order. The Oilers need to figure out if Kulak can play top 4. If he can, the next trick is to sign him to something near that 1.85MM-a-season deal he’s finishing up on this year.
  • Not looking like much change in tonight’s lineup when compared to Thursday.
  • With Jacob Markstrom getting the win for Calgary last night, I’d expect Daniel Vladar (9-5-1, .904 SV% / 2.84 GAA / 2 SO) to get the nod tonight for the Flames. The Oilers may go back to Smith (7-8-2, .898 SV% / 3.29 GAA), though I’d expect Mikko Koskinen (23-10-3, .903 SV% / 3.07 GAA / 1 SO) to warrant serious consideration.
  • Kailer Yamamoto keeps pumping them in. A power play goal in Thursday’s win gives him goals in his last three games and seven of his last eight. Ride that heater to the sun.
  • A win for the Oilers (coupled with a regulation loss for the Kings) will tie the Oilers with the Kings at 79 points. Edmonton needs to keep the wheels on the road here, .500 or better from this point out likely earns them a ticket to the dance.