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OddsJam’s NHL experts take you through tonight’s Game 5 matchup of the Battle of Alberta – the Oilers vs. the Flames including moneyline bets, props, and more!
9:30 p.m. ET
What a game we saw last night in the Western Conference. Going into the game the series looked over but you could see the nonchalant behavior of the Avalanche while the Blues clearly wanted it more, mounting an amazing comeback and OT winner. The Blues were able to extend the series and hopefully we see the same in tonight’s Game 5 of the Battle of Alberta.
Will we get the same thing tonight from the Flames as they are on the brink of elimination? They have a chance to prolong the series with a win or have the somber season-ending skate in front of their home fans. There is no shortage of storylines here with both teams hailing from the province of Alberta and the juxtaposition of the home town pride of each city has been interesting for those of us in the States to see. Calgary has been pinned as the rich suburban city center, while Edmonton is the blue collar, roll up your sleeves town. A true storybook rivalry.
Tonight, we are going to ride this Flames team to do what the Blues did last night and get us another Game 6 showing that same grit, bolstered by the support of their home crowd. Like the commercials say, win or go home but when you are already home why not win?
“It’s up to us to see what we’re made of and go out there and play our game for 60-plus minutes, if that’s what it takes, to give ourselves a chance to stay alive,” said Flames forward Milan Lucic. That is indeed the question for tonights game, what is this Flames team made of?
In the Game 4 we said the only way Calgary can beat the Oilers is to score with them and it looked bleak early but they got going late and finally got some power play goals. It looked like they had made a comeback until Evander Kane scored late in the 3rd with assists from the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draissaitl.
The Flames have only dropped four games in a row twice all year and never did it reach five. This team has been much more consistent to close the year out, as those losing steaks were back in December and January.
“When your backs are against the wall, your desperation goes up and you see what your team is really made of. That’s something all our energy and all our focus has to go into.” continued Lucic.
Calgary is as desperate as it gets and we saw St. Louis come out of nowhere last night and secure a key win to continue their season. Tonight the Flames, who finally got their power play going in Game 4, should play more like they did in Game 1 than they have in the last three.
We look back at the series and actually the Flames squandered Game 2 as well, they were up 3-1 but then penalties and special teams lapses allowed the Oilers to get back in the game through 2 power play goals and a shorthanded goal. The Flames need a complete performance on both ends of the ice tonight, with their offense playing like the top five offense it was all year and their top five defense holding down the blue line, as the Flames have given up 20 goals in this series the most they have in a four game stretch all year.
Tonight is Tkachuk night because if this Flames team is going to a Game 6 then he has to show up. He’s struggled since Game 1, where he looked more like Conor McDavid, scoring 3 goals. In the three games since, he looks more like Larry David. His sidekick, Johnny Gaudreau, has been just as bad in the past two games blanking on the score sheet, despite being the second best scorer in the league.
History is not on our side tonight but that’s why it’s history and not the present. The Oilers are 14-1 when leading a series 3-1, of course those were the days of The Great One. Calgary is 0-9 when down 3-1, but with this being Battle of Alberta, a raucous home crowd and an experienced team it’s time to change that history.
We won’t even recap the history of this series and the records being broken by these two high powered offenses. For the Oilers, production has come primarily from the big two of McDavid and Draisaitl however Evander Kane and even guys Zach Hyman are getting their names on the score sheet as well. This team is a well oiled offensive machine and the Flames know it and must do one thing tonight; score with them or stay home. They’ve proven in both the regular season and this series that they can’t stop this Oilers offense. The defense isn’t doing its job so it’s up to this Flames offense to get to Mike Smith or the Flames will be putting out the torch tonight.
Do or die at home tonight with the whole country and province of Alberta watching, the Flames do not want to lose to the “little brother” Oilers to end their season. Lay the -145 with the Flames and let’s watch Tkachuk score a goal and maybe his sidekick Gaudreau will as well.
We recommend betting in regulation, as there have been very few overtime games so far this playoffs and these two haven’t had an overtime game against each other in years. The Flame stays lit for one more game as we get another Game 6 in the West. Staying up late, this one should be fun to watch.