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Flames Playoff Game Day: Game 2 of the Battle of Alberta (8:30pm MT, CBC/SN)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
The two top teams in Canada face off in a playoff rematch on Friday night after an extremely eventful Game 1. The Calgary Flames (5-3; 1st place, Pacific Division) face the Edmonton Oilers (4-4; 2nd place, Pacific Division) in Game 2 of their Pacific Division Final series. The Flames won a wild 9-6 game on Wednesday night that had goals, but very little in terms of goaltending, defence or hitting. Can both teams tidy it up in two of the three zones on the ice?
The festivities begin at 8:30 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!

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Johnny Gaudreau – @Elias Lindholm – @Matthew Tkachuk
@Andrew Mangiapane – @Mikael Backlund – @Tyler Toffoli
@Dillon Dube – @Calle Jarnkrok – @Blake Coleman
@Milan Lucic – @Trevor Lewis – @Brett Ritchie
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Oliver Kylington – @Michael Stone
@Nikita Zadorov – @Erik Gudbranson
@Jacob Markstrom [5-3, 2.08 GAA, .923 SV%] starts in net, backed up by @Daniel Vladar. The scratches are expected to be goalie @Adam Werner, blueliners @Connor Mackey and @Juuso Valimaki and forwards @Ryan Carpenter and @Adam Ruzicka. Don’t expect to see @Chris Tanev, who’s missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury – Valimaki’s up on an emergency recall, which means that the Flames were concerned enough that Tanev and a couple other blueliners were banged up that they brought him up for insurance. (Since there’s no salary cap to circumvent in the playoffs, the level of scrutiny for emergency recalls likely isn’t terribly onerous for teams.)
There was good and bad for the Flames in Game 1. On one hand, they scored nine goals. On the other hand, they lost more face-offs than they won – looking at you, Calle Jarnkrok and Trevor Lewis – and the stat line for Connor McDavid included four points and two penalties drawn, indicating that the Flames’ plans for containing the league’s best player didn’t exactly come to fruition. (We’ll get into that later.) The series will go as #97 goes, and head coach Darryl Sutter noted that if McDavid averages four points per game, the Flames will be wishing him good luck in the third round.
Game 1 was derisively referred to by Sutter on Thursday morning as a “no-hitter,” so expect the Flames to be more intentional about their hitting and general physicality than they were in Game 1. Especially when they suspect they’re playing a fairly physically worn down Oilers team.

The Oilers

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
@Evander Kane – @Connor McDavid – @Leon Draisaitl
@Zach Hyman – @Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – @Jesse Puljujarvi
@Warren Foegele – @Ryan McLeod – @Kailer Yamamoto
@Josh Archibald – @Derek Ryan – @Zach Kassian
@Darnell Nurse – @Cody Ceci
@Duncan Keith – @Evan Bouchard
@Brett Kulak – @Tyson Barrie
@Mike Smith [4-3, 2.68 GAA, .930 SV%] starts for the Oilers, backed up by @Mikko Koskinen. (Koskinen actually took the loss in Game 1.) The projected extras are @Kris Russell, @Devin Shore, @Derick Brassard, along with many, many black aces. The Oilers shuffled their lines a bunch for Game 2, including probably going with 12 forwards and six defenders and changing every single forward line.
Just how banged up are Drasiaitl and Nurse? Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli observed something very significant:
Both players have been removed from one of their special teams units. Nurse didn’t skate a single second on the power play, where he averaged 1:09 per game this season. Just the same, Draisaitl didn’t play one second shorthanded, a unit where he averaged 57 seconds this season.
The Oilers are hoping to bounce back from a game where not a ton went right for them, aside from capitalizing on some Flames blunders that led to all six goals. Edmonton lost the special teams battle, lost the even strength battle, lost the goaltending battle, and generally got out-battled in the opening Battle (of Alberta). If they can turn the tide in a couple of those categories, they’ll have a shot at evening up the series. If not? Well, they could be in a hole heading back to Edmonton for Game 3.

The numbers

CalgaryEdmonton
Wins54
Adjusted Corsi For61.3%51.5%
Expected Goals For60.9%54.3%
Power Play11.1%30.4%
Penalty Kill92.9%85.2%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Sean Monahan and Chris Tanev.
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. The Flames won Game 1 of this playoff series.

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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