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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames

Oilers head to Calgary to take on the division leading Flames

Edmonton Oilers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (30-22-4, 4th, Pacific)

Calgary Flames (33-14-7), 1st, Pacific)

07 March 2022

Scotiabank Saddledome

7:30 PM MT

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

HAB-NOTS

The Oilers dropped a 5-2 decision to the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday. Edmonton got goals from Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod, but goaltending was a kink in the hose for the Oilers once again. Currently outside of the playoff picture, the Oilers are now looking up at the Golden Knights, the Kings, and the Calgary Flames. An opportunity arises tonight for the Oilers to get back on track with a win, though Calgary could prove to be a formidable opponent.

Can the Oilers get back into the swing of things with two points tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We just weren’t good enough...They are a team that has obviously been playing well since their coaching change. They were better than us tonight. There was maybe a little fatigue, I guess, but that is no excuse. We have to be better out of the gate. Their power play was good and ours wasn’t. That was kind of the difference, for sure.”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid after his club’s 5-2 loss to the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The Canadiens capitalized on their powerplay, going 2/4. Just for fun, they picked up a shorthanded goal as well. The Oilers failed to cash on the power play, they went 0/4 on the night.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

“I kind of made a quick move to my backhand, forehand and shot low glove. I haven’t really seen this goalie too, too much. I kind of got a quick shot off and found the back of the net.”

Source

That’s Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau after scoring the game winner in Calgary’s overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Gaudreau needed 37 seconds to put a bow on a 4-3 Flames OT victory on Saturday night. The Calgary Flames are buzzing right now, an absolutely red-hot 13-1-1 in their last 15.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • The Oilers have recalled Stuart Skinner from Bakersfield, as Mike Smith is out with an illness. He probably should have been called up after the Minnesota game that saw Smith leave early after allowing four goals in seven shots. To say Smith is really struggling to get going is selling the word “struggling” short. Skinner is the most sensible plan right now even though he’s got 14 career games played.
  • Speaking of Skinner, Mikko Koskinen is scheduled to get the start tonight. Koskinen (19-8-3, .904 SV% / 3.05 GAA / 1 SO) will look to pick up his 20th win of the season. He’ll likely face Jacob Markstrom (25-11-6, .925 SV% / 2.17 GAA / 8 SO)
  • Zack Kassian was in practice with a face shield yesterday, I’d expect to see him in the lineup sooner than later. Kassian has been out after taking a puck to the jaw since February 10th, that would put him on the low end of the “four-to-eight weeks” it would take him to return.
  • You’re hearing plenty about Josh Archibald making a return to the lineup soon, and I think that there’s a spot for Josh Archibald on this team as long as Devin Shore is here. I’ve got plenty of questions about Archibald, and the biggest one is whether or not he’s game ready. My next question is how effective is a player going to be in your lineup when he’s only eligible to be in the lineup for games in Canada? If you think a bottom six player that can suit up for a quarter of your games (due to quarantine time) is worth more than a full time roster player, that’s utterly comical. Archibald is eligible to play in three games with the Oilers between now and the trade deadline, maybe there’s a market in the US for guy with a Stanley Cup on his resume.
  • The Flames are red hot. There’s no pun intended there. Markstrom is keeping everything out of the net, they’re getting 3.48 goals per game (6th in NHL), they’ve got a top-10 power play and the fifth ranked PK in the league. Everything is going in for Calgary on their 13-1-1 run right now.
  • The Oilers are four points behind the Vegas Golden Knights right now. They badly need these two points against Calgary tonight, they’ve got a tough week ahead with Washington and Tampa Bay. Getting behind six or eight points to the Golden Knights? Let’s not.