The Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames in Game One of the Second Round in what should be a great series between the two Alberta teams. The Oilers are coming off back-to-back wins in First Round, as they defeated the Los Angeles Kings in seven games. The Flames, meanwhile, played a seven-game series against the Dallas Stars and needed an overtime goal in the final game to advance. The Oilers and Flames split the season series and the Second Round should be a great one, to say the least.
Oilers hope offense can win Game OneThe Oilers advanced to the Second Round with their offense carrying them and scoring 27 goals in the First Round. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl scored nine goals and 14 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has stepped up as well. Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman combined for 11 goals and seven assists while defensemen Cody Ceci and Evan Bouchard opened up the offense with a goal and 10 assists from the blue line.
The offense carried the Oilers but the defense also stepped up,allowing only 17 goals in the First Round including only two goals in the last two games of the series. Cody Ceci and Darnell Nurse led the top pairing but the rest of the defensive unit also stepped up with Evan Bouchard, Duncan Keith, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net. In addition, goaltender Mike Smith was remarkable in the net with a.938 save percentage and a 2.29 goals-against average on 260 shots.
Flames hope defense carries them in Second RoundThe Flames survived a First Round scare despite their offense struggling and scoring only 15 goals in the series. While Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk scored six goals and 13 assists to lead the top line including a Game Seven game-winning goal from Gaudreau, the rest of the offense struggled. The hope is that Blake Coleman, Tyler Toffoli, and Andrew Mangiapane can step up in the Second Round and help the later lines of the Flames' forward unit and offense altogether.
The offense struggled but the defense was remarkable, allowing only 14 goals in the series including only two goals in Game Seven. Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin have led the top defensive pairing but the rest of the unit also stepped up with Erik Gudbranson, Nikita Zadorov, and Oliver Kylington creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net. Moreover, goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been great in the net with a.943 save percentage and a 1.53 goals-against average on 192 shots.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Oilers are looking to build off back-to-back wins and pull off the upset in Game One. The problem is that the Flames have been exceptional on their home ice all season and look to exploit mismatches throughout the upcoming game. The Flames should pile on the goals with Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and the rest of the forward unit stepping up and overwhelming the Oilers' defense with speed in all three zones while creating open shots with great puck movement in the offensive zone. The Flames also look to build off a Game Seven where they only allowed two goals and limit the Oilers' offense with Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers at the blue line and limiting the Oilers from establishing a strong offensive zone presence while limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Jacob Markstrom to make plenty of big saves. The Flames should win Game One with a dominant performance on their home ice.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Oilers' offense dominated the First Round, making it easy to think that the upcoming game will be a high-scoring one. However, both the Oilers and Flames have been playing incredibly on the defensive end of the ice and both defensive units look to step up and control the game from the opening puck drop. The Oilers, who allowed only two goals in the last two games of the First Round, should limit the Flames' offense with Cody Ceci, Evan Bouchard, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Mike Smith to make plenty of big saves. The Flames, who only allowed 14 goals in the First Round, should eliminate the Oilers' offense with Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, and the rest of the defensive unit forcing turnovers in the neutral zone and defensive zone while goaltender Jacob Markstrom steps up and blanks shots on the net. The Under should cover in a low-scoring game controlled by both defenses.