|6:30 PM PT7:30 PM MT8:30 PM CT9:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)21:30 ET22:30 BRT, May 24, 2022
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta Attendance: 18,347
Flames still searching for a way to slow down Oilers
Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers
- The Flames are 3-11 all-time in best-of-seven series in which they trailed 2-1 heading into Game 4 but one of the three series wins came in the last round against the Dallas Stars.
- The Flames have scored only four power-play goals in their 10 playoff games this year (36 PPOs). Calgary's power-play percentage (11.1%) is the third-lowest in the 2022 playoffs. The Flames had the NHL's 10th best power-play percentage during the regular season (22.9%).
- Jacob Markstrom allowed 15 goals in the first three games of this series (5.73 GAA), after giving up only 11 goals in seven games against Dallas in the first round (1.53 GAA). He did not allow more than 11 goals over any three-game span during the 2021-22 regular season.
- The Oilers have lost Game 4 in each of the last six playoffs series in which they led 2-1. Edmonton won four of those six series, including this year's series against the Kings.
- Evander Kane scored three goals in a 6:00 span during the second period of Game 3. It was the fastest three goals by one player in an NHL playoff game since Johan Franzen scored three in 3:26 for Detroit vs. San Jose in 2010. Petr Klima is the only player with a faster trio of goals for the Oilers in one playoff game (5:13 vs. North Stars in 1991).
- Connor McDavid (six goals, 17 assists) is the fourth NHL player to record at least 23 points over his first 10 games in one playoff year. Wayne Gretzky did that twice (29 points in 1983, 25 in 1985), Rick Middleton (23 in 1983) and Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) once each.
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Trailing 2-1 in a playoff series is not uncharted territory for the Calgary Flames. They were in this exact situation in their opening-round set with the Dallas Stars before winning three of four games to advance.
However, as the Flames prepare for Game 4 of their Western Conference second-round clash at the Edmonton Oilers, they are up against a team that has been dominating play for much of the past two games. On Sunday, the Oilers rode four second-period goals to a 4-1 victory.
History will show Evander Kane scored a natural hat trick and Leon Draisaitl set a league record with four assists during that period, but unquestionably the player leading the way is Edmonton captain Connor McDavid, and the onus is on the Flames to find a way to stop him.
"They've got one player that plays half the game and is playing some great hockey right now," Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "We've got to find a way to stop that. When we get in their zone, we've got to hold pucks, nothing blind, and get shots to the goalie. That's where they can have some trouble, with rebounds and loose coverage with that."
The Flames claimed the Pacific Division crown in the regular season by being a dominant five-on-five team, using all four lines. Against the Oilers, they have been guilty of taking far too many penalties, which has helped Edmonton's top trio gain momentum.
"They're a tight team and they check well in the neutral zone, but we can still move (the puck) a little bit faster and we've got to find ways to ... get in on the forecheck," defenseman Rasmus Andersson said. "Once we get into their zone, we're fine."
The Oilers, who finished second in the division, are playing a strong team game, but McDavid's exploits are filled with superlatives.
McDavid, who has amassed 23 points in 10 playoff games, is the first player in NHL history to record nine multi-point games in the first 10 games of a playoff run. Only Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983, 25 in 1985) and Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) ever scored more points in the first 10 games of a postseason.
"He's been on fire in the playoffs," Kane said. "He's taking his game to the next level. ... He's physical. He's involved. He's winning puck battles along the wall, both in the defensive zone and in the offensive zone. He's a dominant force out there."
McDavid, Draisaitl and Kane have combined for 55 points in 10 games, numbers reminiscent of the Gretzky-led Oilers teams of the 1980s.
As quick as he is to praise McDavid and crew for their offensive abilities, though, coach Jay Woodcroft is just as fast to note their defensive play, especially in this series.
"That line, I think Connor and Leon both finished plus-4," Woodcroft said. "When our best players are leading the way defensively and setting the tone for what's expected for the full 200 feet of the rink, I think it makes us a better team."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 24, 2022