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GDB 57.0: Oilers will need McDavid and Draisaitl in crucial BOA matchup (7:30 pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
8 months ago
Over the last 25 months the Edmonton Oilers — specifically @Connor McDavid and @Leon Draisaitl — have dominated the Calgary Flames. McDavid and Draisaitl each have 25 points in the last 13 games v. their provincial rival and the Oilers are 9-4 in those games. Edmonton is 3-3 in Calgary and if they plan on leaving Cowtown with a victory their two superstars will need to lead the charge.
McDavid has 13 goals in his last 13 games v. the Flames. He seems to love the hype of the Battle of Alberta and when he gets going the rest of the team seems to follow. The team is 9-4 and in their nine wins, they outscored the Flames 44-18. McDavid had 11-11-22 in those games. While he was killing it offensively, so was Draisaitl. He produced 2-21-23 in the nine victories. Some games they played together, and others on separate lines, and the Flames didn’t have an answer.
The Oilers won one game in Calgary, 2-1, where Draisaitl and McDavid didn’t register a point, but mainly #97 and #29 were driving the bus over Calgary.
In the four losses, Calgary outscored the Oilers 18-8. The Flames scored as many goals in their four wins as they did their nine losses.
Elias Lindholm led them with 13 points in 13 games, while Matthew Tkachuk had 12 and Johnny Gaudreau had 11. Lindholm scored five goals in the four victories.
Over the past 25 months, the Flames had 12 skaters with four or more points, while the Oilers had 13. The main difference was Edmonton’s top-end guys were that much better than Calgary’s and with the way the Flames are playing right now, 9-1-1 in their last 11, the Oilers will need a huge effort from McDavid and Draisaitl tonight.
Of course the Oilers will need solid goaltending to have a chance. The Oilers are 2-0 v. the Flames this season, but they allowed 47 shots against in both games. Mike Smith stopped 45 of 47 in October, while Mikko Koskinen stopped 44 of 47 on January 22nd. Edmonton had the better goalie in both games. Jacob Markstrom stopped 28 of 32 shots in October and 26 of 30 shots in January. Both games were in Edmonton, where the Oilers are 6-1 in their last seven v. the Flames.
Tonight’s tilt is in Calgary and the Flames are 11-0-1 in their last 12 homes games dating back to January 18th. The OT loss occurred last Thursday when Montreal defeated them 5-4. Calgary started the season 4-4-4 at home, but since mid-January they’ve been crushing opponents.
Koskinen will need to be very good tonight, I suspect, if the Oilers want to get back in the win column.

LINEUPS…

Oilers

McLeod – McDavid – Hyman
Kane – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Shore – Ryan
Benson – Turris
Nurse – Ceci
Keith – Broberg
Niemelainen – Lagesson
Bouchard
Koskinen
@Evan Bouchard will be a game time decision. If he can’t go, the Oilers will dress 12 forwards for the first time on Jay Woodcroft’s watch. It would likely mean Philip Broberg and William Lagesson would be playing on their off sides. Broberg played with Duncan Keith after Bouchard left Saturday’s game, while Niemelainen and Lagesson were a pair.
The Oilers’ injuries and illnesses are starting to catch up to them. They miss Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Tyson Barrie, and now possibly Bouchard, but injuries are part of the game and the Oilers have to push through.
They need a solid effort from all 18 skaters and Koskinen if they hope to slow down the surging Flames.

Flames…

Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Coleman – Backlund – Lewis
Mangiapane – Ruzicka – Toffoli
Lewis – Monahan – Dube
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
Jacob Markstrom
The Flames’ top line has been on fire since January 1st. Tkachuk (14-24-38) and Johnny Gaudreau (10-28-38) are tied with Auston Matthews for most points in the NHL. Lindholm has 16 goals and 30 points.
Draisaitl (28) and McDavid (27) lead the Oilers, and it shows how dominant the Flames’ top line has been. They’ve combined for 40 goals a in 25 games and whichever line is out against them tonight must be sharp defensively.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Home team wins again this season in the BOA. Calgary skates away with a 4-3 win.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames’ top line scores twice.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Broberg scores his first NHL goal.

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