Game: Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds: Oilers +155, Flames -175
It’s rare in the NHL to give up six goals and win. It’s even rarer when it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs and not only do you win, but you win by three. That’s exactly what happened in Game 1 of this Western Conference semifinal series. Calgary blew a four-goal lead but rebounded to beat Edmonton 9-6 in Game 1.
It was the second straight game against Calgary that Edmonton allowed the Flames to score nine goals. You don’t win many games in the NHL when you allow that many goals. The win was the third straight against Edmonton for Calgary. If that is going to change, Edmonton is going to have to do its best to hold Calgary to three goals or less. These two teams have played each other a lot through the years and the last 12 times that Edmonton beat Calgary they held the Flames to three or fewer goals.
Calgary scored twice in the first minute of Game 1 and with three quick first period goals Edmonton pulled goalie Mike Smith, who had been performing well for the Oilers. Smith will be back for Game 2 and will likely get plenty of support. The Oilers came back to tie Calgary at 6-6 in the third period before losing. The play of two of the best players in hockey was part of that comeback and they will be key tonight.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl accounted for seven points in Game 1 with two goals and five assists. McDavid, the NHL’s regular-season points leader, is now also the postseason points leader with 18. Draisatl is tied for second with Florida’s Carter Verhaeghe. Each has 12 points this postseason. If Calgary allows McDavid and Draisatl skate unchecked, there may be another flurry of goals in Game 2.
Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk recorded a hat trick in Game 1. The Flames outshot Edmonton 48-28, which speaks volumes to the Flames’ defense. It wasn’t good. During the regular season, Calgary ranked third in goals against. They showed that in their opening series against Dallas. That defense needs to come back in Game 2.
With three straight wins over Edmonton now, Calgary has outscored the Oilers 21-12. Giving up four goals a game is not ideal, but scoring seven makes up for it. Getting the Oilers at home again is definitely an advantage. Calgary is 7-1 SU in its last eight home games and 5-1 SU in the last six against Edmonton.
Despite the loss, Edmonton is 11-5 SU in its last 16 games. What’s interesting in tonight’s game is the total. In the last five games between these two teams, there have been 48 goals scored. That’s an average of 9.6 per game. Tonight’s total remains at 6.5. Four of the last five head-to-head games have gone Over the total. The total has gone Under in seven of Calgary’s last ten games.