The NHL is set up with another great Saturday of hockey on March 6. Twelve games will be up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these matchups will be between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. These two teams have had solid starts to this season and will look to earn a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 10:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
The Flames have started out this season with a record of 11-11-2, which has them sitting in fifth place of the North Division. Calgary has struggled at times this season, but are coming off a win in their last game. The Flames will look to get going quickly as they have a new coach entering this game. If Calgary can come out hot in this one, they could knock off a struggling Oilers team.
Edmonton have put up a record of 14-11 to this point in the season, which has them in third place of the North Division. The Oilers have lost three games in a row, only scoring once in those three games. Edmonton has not been able to get their offense going, but I think they can get going in this one. The Oilers have not been great as of late, but will look to get back on track.
These two teams have been solid this season and I expect a good one in this one. Calgary is coming off a tough 2-2 series tie with the Ottawa Senators. The Flames will have Darryl Sutter behind the bench after reliving Geoff Ward of his duties. Calgary will look to have a better performance in this one, while the Oilers will look to get the offense back on track.
The Flames and the Oilers have met up three times throughout this season. Calgary hosted the first game of the season series on February 6. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough for Edmonton. Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists. Dillon Dube, Johnny Gaudreau and Milan Lucic each had a goal and an assist. The Flames were able to hold on for a 6-4 win.
The second game of the season series was on February 19 in Calgary. Rasmus Andersson had a goal on the night, while David Rittich had 23 saves on 25 shots. It was not enough though. Gaetan Haas and Jesse Puljujarvi each scored a goal on the night. Mike Smith finished with 20 saves on 21 shots as the Oilers earned a 2-1 win.
The Oilers hosted the third game of the season series on February 20. Andrew Mangiapane scored a goal, but that was all the offense the Flames could muster. Connor McDavid had three goals and two assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist. Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse both had two assists as the Oilers earned a big win. Mikko Koskinen finished with 43 saves on 44 shots as Edmonton won 7-1.
These two teams have met up three times so far this season, but it was Edmonton who was able to earn wins in two of the three games. The Oilers have held Calgary to two goals in the last two games. Edmonton will look to grab a win in this one on Thursday night to keep it going. I expect Edmonton to try and pick up their offense where they left off on February 20.
Calgary has been strong on the power play so far this season. The Flames have scored on 18 of their 84 power play chances, which is a 21.4 percent power play. Calgary’s penalty kill has struggled so far this season. The Flames have killed off 67 of the 85 penalties against them, which is a 78.8 percent kill rate. Calgary will look to put together a strong performance on both sides of special teams.
The Oilers have also been really dangerous on the power play to this point in the season. Edmonton has capitalized on 22 of their 85 power play opportunities, which is a 25.9 percent success rate. The Oilers have struggled a bit on the penalty kill though. Edmonton has given up 19 goals on opposing teams 80 power play attempts, which is a 76.3 percent penalty kill.
I would give Edmonton a slight edge in this one on special teams. The Oilers have the better power play, but their penalty kill is a little worse. Edmonton had a tough task their last three games in shutting down Toronto’s power play and will look to do better in this one. I think that the Oilers can come out hot on the power play in this game to give themselves the edge as well.
Jacob Markstrom will likely get the start in the crease for the Flames on Saturday night. Markstrom has started in 15 games so far this season, going 8-6-1 in his games. He has put up a .909 save percentage and a GAA of 2.87 in his starts. Markstrom’s last start was against the Oilers on February 20. He stopped 10 of 15 shots before getting pulled in the loss.
I expect Mike Smith to get the nod in the net for Edmonton in this one. Smith has earned a record of 6-2 through his games played this season. He has posted a save percentage of .923 and a 2.33 GAA in his nights of action. Smith finished with 26 saves on 32 shots in his last start against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Smith will look to bounce back in this one.
These two teams have seen solid performances from their goalies this season. Markstrom has missed some time recently, but could be back in this one. That would help revive the Flames as well as the new coach. Smith is coming off a tough performance, but they will look to earn a win in this one as well. I expect both goalies to try and come out hot in this one.
The Oilers are coming into this one on a three game losing streak, which I think will motivate them entering this matchup. Edmonton will look to finally get their offense going after getting one goal in three games. The Oilers have had an extra day off to clear their head and I think it will lead to a big win on Saturday night.
BetOnline has Edmonton listed as a -121 against the spread entering this one. This implies that the Oilers will win this game around 54.8 percent of the time. I think that Edmonton will come out hot after some tough offensive performances. This makes the Oilers -1 ½ at +180 really tempting. I think Edmonton will bounce back at home with a big win.