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One Win Away

Roller-coaster game 4 sees Oilers emerge with 3-1 series lead

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers - Game Four Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers are one win away from advancing to the conference finals.

Say it again.

The Edmonton Oilers are one win away from advancing to the conference finals.

Last night’s 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames was a tale of two cities. The Oilers burst out onto the scene, scoring three in the first period. They headed to the first intermission looking like they might put ten goals away. The second period? Not as great. Elias Lindholm scored a power play goal midway through the period, while Mikael Backund made it 3-2 just seconds later.

Then, disaster. Midway through the third period, Rasmus Andersson tallied a shorthanded goal from 125 feet away. It was a goal that was completely misplayed by Mike Smith, and it sucked the air out of Rogers Place. By that time, it was 3-3 and the Flames were pushing hard.

It all got wild with less than four minutes remaining in the third. When Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the puck behind Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (on a rebound from a Tyson Barrie shot), the roof nearly shot off of Rogers Place. The goal was Nugent-Hopkins’ second of the game, he scored what will probably be the easiest goal of his career when Markstrom misplayed the puck just seconds after the game started. The Oilers are up 3-1 over the Pacific Division champions. The club who won 50 games, those Flames.

Jacob Markstrom has flailed this entire series. He’s pulled a forgettable .850 SV% in the four games he’s played. If the wheels didn’t go sideways for the Oilers in game 1, this series might be over already.

The Flames are in trouble. They’ve won just one game out of four, and they’ll need to win every possible game in this series if they are to advance.

We’ll find out Thursday if the Oilers can wrap this up in five. If they don’t, they’ll be back in Edmonton on Saturday for game 6. For now, the Flames are “upbeat”.

We’ll see if that holds.