180Battle of Alberta
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Flames Playoff Game Day: The Battle of Alberta begins (7:30pm MT, CBC/SN)

After 31 years – and two long days – of waiting, it’s finally time for a Stanley Cup playoff edition of the Battle of Alberta. The Calgary Flames (4-3; 1st place, Pacific Division) face the Edmonton Oilers (4-3; 2nd place, Pacific Division) in Game 1 of the Pacific Division Final series. Bragging rights, and a trip to the Western Conference Final, are up for grabs.

The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. MT. You can catch the game on CBC and Sportnet’s national feed in Canada (with Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson), ESPN in the United States (with John Buccigross and Brian Boucher), and over the airwaves on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias)!

For a look from the other side, check out OilersNation!

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The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Johnny GaudreauElias LindholmMatthew Tkachuk
Andrew MangiapaneMikael BacklundTyler Toffoli
Dillon DubeCalle JarnkrokBlake Coleman
Milan LucicTrevor LewisBrett Ritchie

Noah HanifinRasmus Andersson
Oliver KylingtonMichael Stone
Nikita ZadorovErik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom [3-3, 1.52 GAA, .945 SV%] starts in net, backed up by Daniel Vladar. The scratches are expected to be goalie Adam Werner, blueliners Connor Mackey, Juuso Valimaki and Michael Stone and forwards Ryan Carpenter and Adam Ruzicka. It was an optional skate but most of the key players skated this morning – including Tanev – so we’re operating under the assumption that he’s in. But we’ll see what happens in warm-up.

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Update: No Tanev, Stone in on second pairing.

The Flames made hay on home ice in Round 1, winning three of their four home dates (and getting three of their four wins on home ice). Expect them to do what they can to feed off the energy early and keep the crowd loud. The first 10 minutes (or so) should be pretty scrambly as the two clubs try to figure each other out.

The Oilers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:

Leon DraisaitlConnor McDavidKailer Yamamoto
Evander KaneRyan McLeodZach Hyman
Josh ArchibaldRyan Nugent-HopkinsDerek Ryan
rotating – Zach Kassian – Jesse Puljujarvi

Darnell NurseCody Ceci
Duncan KeithEvan Bouchard
Brett KulakTyson Barrie
Kris Russell

Mike Smith starts for the Oilers, backed up by Mikko Koskinen. The projected extras are Devin Shore, Derick Brassard and Warren Foegele, along with many, many black aces. It appears that they’re going with seven defenders and 11 forwards, but we’ll see how they line up at warm-up. A few Oilers didn’t skate this morning, but reportedly everybody is available.

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The Oilers started Round 1 at home and ended up losing a heartbreaker. Expect them to be emotionally engaged and focused on taking the partisan Saddledome crowd out of it early.

The numbers

Calgary Edmonton
Wins 4 4
Adjusted Corsi For 60.4% 54.0%
Expected Goals For 60.0% 57.1%
Power Play 8.3% 36.8%
Penalty Kill 91.7% 87.5%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Sean Monahan.

The Oilers are without Oscar Klefbom.

When last we met

These teams split their four regular season meetings evenly, with the home team winning every time.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:

THIS ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY WINE & BEYOND, LIQUOR DEPOT AND ACE LIQUOR

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All 24 can packs of Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light and Molson Canadian Beer will be on sale for $35.99 plus tax and deposit on Edmonton vs Calgary game days during this round of playoffs!

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