The NHL is set up with another great night of hockey on Saturday. Ten games will be up on the board throughout April 10. One of these matchups will be between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. These two teams have had opposite starts to this season, but will need a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 10:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
The Oilers have put up a record of 25-14-2 throughout this season, which has them sitting in second place of the North Division. Edmonton is five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers have won back to back games and three of their last four. Edmonton will look to keep up this winning streak in this one.
Calgary has earned a record of 16-21-3 to this point in the season, which has them in sixth place of the North Division. The Flames are eight points out of a playoff spot and will need to get going soon if they want to make a playoff push. Calgary has lost four games in a row and eight of their last nine. The Flames will look to turn it around with a big win against their rival.
Edmonton has been much better throughout this season entering this one, but the Flames will look to step up against their rival. Calgary has not found any success as of late, but they could still make a push if they can get going soon. I expect these two teams to try and come out fast in this one as they look to earn a big two points.
The Oilers and the Flames have met up seven games throughout this season series. Calgary hosted the two games of the season series on February 6 and 19. Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists in the first game as the Flames won 6-4. Jesse Puljujarvi and Gaetan Haas both scored in the second game as Edmonton bounce back with a 2-1 win on the road.
The third and fourth game of the season series was hosted by Edmonton. Connor McDavid had three goals and two assists in the third game. Mikko Koskinen stopped 43 of 44 shots as the Oilers won 7-1. Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists in the fourth game to help lead Edmonton to a 3-2 win at home.
Calgary hosted the fifth and sixth game of the season series on March 15 and 17. Dillon Dube, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane all had a goal and an assist as the Flames earned a 4-3 win in the fifth game. Tyson Barrie had four assists in the sixth game as the Oilers bounced back with a huge 7-3 win on the road.
The seventh and most recent game of the season series shifted to Edmonton on April 2. Michael Stone and Matthew Tkachuk both scored for the Flames, but it was not enough for the win. Leon Draisaitl had two assists on the night. Mike Smith finished with 24 saves on 26 shots to help lead the Oilers to a 3-2 win to take a 5-2 lead in the season series.
Edmonton has been really strong on the power play throughout the season. The Oilers have capitalized on 35 of their 129 power play chances, which is a 27.1 percent success rate. Edmonton has been around the league average on the penalty kill. The Oilers have killed off 91 of their opponents 115 power play attempts, which is a 79.1 percent penalty kill.
The Flames have around the league average on both sides of special teams throughout this season. Calgary has scored on 26 of their 131 power play opportunities, which is a 19.9 percent power play. The Flames have given up 26 power play goals on 130 penalties against, which is an 80 percent kill rate. Calgary will need to step up a bit on special teams through the last stretch of this season.
The Oilers have been a lot better on the power play this season, while Calgary has a slight edge on the penalty kill. Edmonton will look to score a few power play goals in this one to give them the edge. If the Flames can stay out of the box in this one though, it could keep the Oilers power play quiet. I expect both teams to try and generate momentum on special teams on Saturday night.
I expect Mike Smith to get the start in the crease for the Oilers on Saturday night. Smith has earned a record of 14-3-2 throughout his starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .922 and a 2.34 GAA in those games played. Smith’s last start was against the Ottawa Senators, where he stopped 39 of 40 shots for the win.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the nod in the net for Calgary in this one. Markstrom has started in 28 games throughout this season, going 12-14-2. He has posted a .898 save percentage and a GAA of 3.02 through his games. Markstrom finished with 25 saves on 30 shots against the Toronto Maple Leafs in his last start, which was not enough for the win.
Edmonton has a slight edge in the net with Mike Smith getting the start. Smith is coming off a really strong start against the Ottawa Senators and will look to carry momentum into this one. Markstrom has struggled a bit throughout this season and he will need more help from Calgary’s defense in this one. If the Flames can take the pressure off with some early goals, it could help them grab the win.
The Oilers have dominated the season series against Calgary. Edmonton has won five of the seven games so far, but none of the seven has gone to overtime. I think that this one could need extra time between these two great rivals. I think that the Flames will come out much better in this one as they look for a big win at home.
BetOnline has the Oilers listed as a -110 against the money line in this one. This implies that Edmonton will win this game around 52.4 percent of the time. I think that this game could be a tight one and it could go either way. As home underdogs, I really like the value on the Flames. I think they could turn it around with an emotional rivalry game on Saturday night.