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Flames Playoff Game Day: Game 3 of the Battle of Alberta (6pm MT, CBC/SN)

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Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
After two eventful, even games in Calgary, the Battle of Alberta moves up Highway 2 for Game 3 on Sunday evening. The Calgary Flames (5-4; 1st place, Pacific Division) face the Edmonton Oilers (5-4; 2nd place, Pacific Division) with serve in their best-of-seven Pacific Division Final series up for grabs. Can the Flames bounce back from a Game 2 loss and exorcise some of their Rogers Place demons? Or will the Oilers translate their Game 2 momentum into Game 3 success?
The festivities begin at 6 p.m. MT. You can catch the game on CBC and Sportnet’s national feed in Canada (with Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson), ESPN2 in the United States (with Bob Wischusen 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 – @Blake Coleman
@Dillon Dube – @Calle Jarnkrok – @Tyler Toffoli
@Milan Lucic – @Trevor Lewis – @Brett Ritchie
@Noah Hanifin – @Rasmus Andersson
@Nikita Zadorov – @Michael Stone
@Oliver Kylington – @Erik Gudbranson
@Jacob Markstrom [5-4, 2.41 GAA, .915 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, as he’s still dealing with an upper body injury. Update from warm-up: sounds like Zadorov has been bumped up to full-time duty with Stone, while Kylington will play with Gudbranson.
Through two evenly-matched games in this series, the Flames have needed more from their best players – especially at even strength. The top defensive pairing of Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson need to be better at bottling up Connor McDavid, while the top scoring line needs to do more to generate goals. The leading five-on-five goal-scorers for Calgary are Brett Ritchie and Blake Coleman, while five of the Flames’ top nine forwards have yet to check in with a full strength goal in the series.
Head coach Darryl Sutter has noted that the Flames have to out-score Edmonton as a group, but so far their top three lines haven’t been able to do that. (Heck, their top line has scored twice in two games, which is respectable but not enough against a powerful 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 [5-3, 2.72 GAA, .929 SV%] starts for the Oilers, backed up by @Mikko Koskinen. The projected extras are @Kris Russell, @Devin Shore, @Derick Brassard, along with many, many black aces. Don’t expect many, if any, changes for the Game 2 winners.
How top-heavy are the Oilers? At full strength, they’re led in scoring by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, each with five points. Nobody else has more than two. But hey, that’s why life is good if you have a McDavid or a Draisaitl. The Oilers have both of them and even though Draisaitl is ailing – he’s playing through a suspected high ankle sprain – he’s still been very productive.
As their stars go, so do the Oilers. McDavid was particularly strong against the Los Angeles Kings and powered the Oilers to a seven game series victory. So far, he’s the best player in this series, and next-best isn’t particularly close right now.

The numbers

CalgaryEdmonton
Wins55
Adjusted Corsi For61.2%50.5%
Expected Goals For60.6%53.3%
Power Play12.5%27.6%
Penalty Kill91.2%84.4%

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, and they’ve split their two playoff meetings evenly as well.

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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