Connor McDavid scores in overtime to send the Oilers to the Western Conference final after defeating the Calgary Flames 5-4 in Game 5 overtime

  1. Edmonton Oilers fans cheer on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fans cheer on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  2. Edmonton Oilers fans cheer on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fans cheer on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  3. Edmonton Oilers fans take selfies while wearing KFC hats, while outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fans take selfies while wearing KFC hats, while outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  4. Edmonton Oilers fan Ron Peters says that if the Oilers advance to the third round of the NHL playoffs he will have an Oilers tattoo put over his Montreal Canadiens tattoo, and that he already has the tattoo appointment booked, Thursday May 26, 2022. Peters was taking part in the Oilers tailgate party outside Rogers Palce, prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames.

    Edmonton Oilers fan Ron Peters says that if the Oilers advance to the third round of the NHL playoffs he will have an Oilers tattoo put over his Montreal Canadiens tattoo, and that he already has the tattoo appointment booked, Thursday May 26, 2022. Peters was taking part in the Oilers tailgate party outside Rogers Palce, prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames. Photo by David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

  5. Edmonton Oilers fan Ron Peters cheers on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fan Ron Peters cheers on the team outside Rogers Place prior to the start of Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  6. A Calgary Flames fan waits for the doors to open for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    A Calgary Flames fan waits for the doors to open for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  7. Caoimhe White, 5, sits in a sunbeam in Ford Hall as she and her mother Kelli White wait for the doors to open for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. The two were the first in line.

    Caoimhe White, 5, sits in a sunbeam in Ford Hall as she and her mother Kelli White wait for the doors to open for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. The two were the first in line. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  8. Edmonton Oilers fans walk through a beam of sunlight as they arrive for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fans walk through a beam of sunlight as they arrive for the Edmonton Oilers watch party at Rogers Place, in Edmonton Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  9. Edmonton Oilers fans head to a watch party at Rogers Place for NHL playoffs Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, Thursday May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers fans head to a watch party at Rogers Place for NHL playoffs Game 5 between the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, Thursday May 26, 2022. Photo by David Bloom /Postmedia

  10. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers right wing Zack Kassian (44) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers right wing Zack Kassian (44) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  11. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  12. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  13. Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom battles Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

    Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom battles Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  14. Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom battles Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

    Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom battles Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  15. Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

    Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  16. Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  17. Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

    Calgary Flames Andrew Mangiapane scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in first period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  18. Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  19. Calgary Flames Johnny Gaudreau scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Calgary Flames Johnny Gaudreau scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  20. Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Calgary Flames Mikael Backlund scores on Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  21. The Edmonton Oilers scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    The Edmonton Oilers scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  22. Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman celebrates their 4th goal on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman celebrates their 4th goal on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  23. The Calgary Flames celebrate Mikael Backlund's goal on the Edmonton Oilers during game 5 Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    The Calgary Flames celebrate Mikael Backlund’s goal on the Edmonton Oilers during game 5 Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia

  24. The Edmonton Oilers celebrate scoring on the Calgary Flames during game 5 Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    The Edmonton Oilers celebrate scoring on the Calgary Flames during game 5 Stanley Cup playoff action in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Gavin Young/Postmedia

  25. CALGARY, AB - MAY 26: Oliver Kylington #58 of the Calgary Flames chases the puck against Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period of Game Five of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 26, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    CALGARY, AB – MAY 26: Oliver Kylington #58 of the Calgary Flames chases the puck against Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period of Game Five of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 26, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Photo by Derek Leung /Getty Images

  26. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  27. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  28. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrate win with teammates against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrate win with teammates against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  29. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrate win with teammates against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrate win with teammates against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  30. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first overtime period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first overtime period against the Calgary Flames in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  31. The Edmonton Oilers celebrate scoring on the Calgary Flames during their Stanley Cup playoff series in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    The Edmonton Oilers celebrate scoring on the Calgary Flames during their Stanley Cup playoff series in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

  32. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  33. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  34. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  35. May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; General view of the hand shaking after the game between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    May 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; General view of the hand shaking after the game between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in game five of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

  36. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

  37. Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

    Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Game 5 of the Battle of Alberta is set to begin at the Scotia Bank Saddledome in Calgary tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7: 30 p.m.

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Tonight’s the night, baby! They could do it! They could advance to the next round. The Oilers could extinguish the Flames on their home turf. The Oilers lead the series 3-1. This is a very exciting moment in the Battle of Alberta. I know I won’t be alone sitting on the edge of my seat for tonight’s game. Let’s do this! 🏒 🥅

Send us your #LetsGoOilers photos/stories to [email protected] or [email protected]


Live blog

Follow along with the action with Postmedia Edmonton Digital Editor Trevor Robb and a team of Postmedia journalists as the Edmonton Oilers take on the Calgary Flames in Game Five of the Battle of Alberta second round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Drop a comment into the feed and say hello!


McDavid sends the Oilers into the NHL’s Final Four, first time in 16 years

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By Jim Matheson

Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in overtime action to beat the Flames 5-4 and take Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

In the end, it looked like a ho-hum chore for the Edmonton Oilers taking care of the Calgary Flames in the first Battle of Alberta playoff in three decades—somewhere between tying up a trash before sending it down the garbage chute and sorting through the junk mail.

But, the sixth instalment of the post-season BOA, first since 1991, was an offensive tug ‘o war with 44 goals over five games, 32 in three at the Saddleome where team defence was pretty much a rumour.

In the wild series clincher Thursday there were four goals in less than a minute a half (two by each team) and the Oilers managed to outlast the Flames 5-4 on Connor McDavid’s winner off Leon Draisaitl’s fourth assist of the night to win in five games. It wasn’t pretty, this last one because the Oilers had to survive a fortuitous video replay to wipe out a goal by Blake Coleman off his skate with five and and half minutes left, but it ended up being a portrait in persistence by the Oilers who were down two in Game 5 and refused to go away and now play Colorado or St. Louis in the NHL’s Final Four—the first time they’ve gotten that far since 2006.

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Nobody expected this to be over in nine days, but after the Flames won that off-kilter 9-6 Game 1 at the Saddledome—the highest scoring playoff game in history— the Oilers took the next four with the finale where Draisaitl had his fifth straight game with at least three points and finished the series with 17 points.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this for the Oilers, now 5-1 all-time in BOA playoffs, with the only loss in 1986 when Steve Smith banked that shot off Grant Fuhr’s leg. But, as McDavid said at noon, “we’re desperate to close out the series.” And he did, beating Jacob Markstrom on a short-side 20-footer after Draisaitl found him

The Oilers didn’t want to give the Flames any more life.

“Three-one leads are a tricky spot, like having a two-goal lead within a game…we have to break their will,” said Oiler defenceman Brett Kulak, who was on the other side of the equation last spring playing for Montreal as they ralled from 3-1 down to beat Toronto.

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“We’re in the corner, on the ropes,” said former Oiler Milan Lucic, after the Game 4 loss when Calgary failed to take advantage of a gift from the gods strange goal on Mike Smith to tie it halfway through the third, instead letting the longest-serving Oiler Ryan Nugent-Hopkins win it a few minutes later to go up 3-1.

“We want a strong performance, play our best game and close it out,” said McDavid, after the morning skate, fully cognizant that the Oilers were on those same ropes in round one, down 3-2 and having to win Game 6 in Los Angeles before coming back to Rogers Place for the clincher.

The Oilers beat the Flames in seven in ’91 and ’84, in five in ’83 and a four-game sweep in ’88 highlighted by Wayne Gretzky’s OT winner slapper on Mike Vernon. Calgary’s win was in seven in ’86.

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And now they’re off to the third round for the first time since 2006 when they beat Detroit and San Jose, then faced off against Anaheim in the Western final.


Wild second period ends in 4-4 tie

By Jim Matheson

The Edmonton Oilers scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
The Edmonton Oilers scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom in second period action during Round two of the Western Conference finals at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Holy mama!

One lonely goal in the first 20 minutes and only 11 total shots and we get four goals in 71 seconds in the second as the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are engaged in a where’s the defence 4-4 draw.

After Mikael Backlund tipped in Mark Stone’s shot to give Calgary a 2-0 lead, Darnell Nurse (45-footer off a one-handed pass from Leon Draisaitl) and Jesse Puljujarvi (finishing off a three-on-one-break with Zach Hyman and Ryan McLeod) tied it 2-2.

Then the scores started coming. Hyman scored for the fifth straight game, his eighth of the playoffs, when Draisaitl’s pass into the crease on a powerplay hit the winger on the skates and it got past Jacob Markstrom to give the Oilers their first lead at 3-2.

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Johnny Gaudreau got that back 15 seconds later as he circled the net and slid one under Mike Smith’s pad. On the next shift, Calle Jarnkrok got his first of the playoffs with a bullet from 30-feet and Evan Bouchard blasted one off the crossbar and in to tie it 4-4.

The goals were coming so furiously, the public address announcer was three goals behind as he gave out the scorers and assists.


Flames jump out to early 1-0 lead

By Jim Matheson

Anxious Flames fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome as the Flames face the Edmonton Oilers and possilbe elimination during Round two of the Western Conference finals in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Anxious Flames fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome as the Flames face the Edmonton Oilers and possilbe elimination during Round two of the Western Conference finals in Calgary on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

It was a very nervous first period for the Oilers and the Flames with precious few scoring chances and only 11 total shots.

The Flames, as they did in Games 1 and 2 at the Saddledome scored first but unlike the earlier two games that was all they got on Mike Smith.

Andrew Mangiapane was allowed to stand unmolested in the slot to take a pass from Blake Coleman, the two-time Stanley Cup winner in Tampa. Very passive defence from the Oilers, who allowed the Flames to get the lead for the first time since late in Game 2, 155 minutes.

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The Oilers spent much of the period dumping the puck out, with very few tape-to-tape passes. Connor McDavid had the best chance when he circled the net and tried to bank one off Jacob Markstrom in the 14th minute. The puck dribbled behind the Calgary goalie but sat on the line until it was covered up. McDavid had one later shot as he spun 20 feet out and Markstrom got his leg on the attempt.

A very tight first 20 minutes for both teams with the Oilers trying to close out the series, up 3-1, and Calgary trying to stay alive.


Oilers projected lineups

It’s not expected that the Oilers will shuffle lineups in Game 5 tonight against the Calgary Flames. Evander Kane will take the ice following a quick trip to be by the side of his girlfriend for the birth of their son Iverson Frank Kane.

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Evander Kane – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl

Zach Hyman – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jesse Puljujarvi

Warren Foegele – Ryan McLeod – Kailer Yamamoto

Josh Archibald – Derek Ryan – Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse – Cody Ceci

Duncan Keith – Evan Bouchard

Brett Kulak – Tyson Barrie

Mike Smith


McDavid: ‘We have to play our best game of the series’

By Jim Matheson

Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane (91) celebrates his first goal with teammates Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) against the Calgary Flames during second period NHL second round playoff hockey action on Sunday, May 22, 2022 in Edmonton.
Edmonton Oilers Evander Kane (91) celebrates his first goal with teammates Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) against the Calgary Flames during second period NHL second round playoff hockey action on Sunday, May 22, 2022 in Edmonton. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia

The Edmonton Oilers are saying all the right things, up 3-1, with a chance to say goodbye to the Calgary Flames tonight.

“We’ve got to match their desperation…we have to play our best game of the series,” said Oiler captain Connor McDavid, whose club was in a win-or-else scenario twice in round one against Los Angeles, down 3-2 and having to win on the road to get Game 7 back to Rogers Place. Sounds cliche, the match their desperation quote. But, really, it’s true.”

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“A number of us were watching St. Louis and Colorado last night and we know hard it is to close a team out. Teams just don’t quit and say ‘we’re done.”’ said Oiler defenceman Brett Kulak, as the Blues stayed alive with a late rally and a win in OT on Tyler Bozak’s goal.

“I was on the other side last year (Montreal),” said Kulak, with the Canadiens in a dark hole, down 3-1 to Toronto in round one only to roar back and win in seven, the first step to the Habs making it all the way to the Stanley Cup final where they ran up against the much tougher Tampa Bay Lightning and lost in five.

The Flames jumped on the Oilers for a 3-0 lead after six minutes at the Saddledome in Game 1, driving Mike Smith to the bench for Mikko Koskinen, and 2-0 in the first six in Game 2. They outlasted the Oilers 9-6 in the first game where defence on both sides was a rumour, and losing the second with a four-goal comeback by the Oilers, including a short-handed breakaway goal by Zach Hyman, in the other one.

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Needless to say, the Oilers are looking more for the 4-0 jump they got on Calgary in Game 3 at Rogers Place, and the 3-0 in Game 4. Who knows, we might actually get a game, finally, where one team scores, then the other, and away we go.

Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau celebrate a goal against Edmonton Oilers during the second period of the first game of the second round of playoff action at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau celebrate a goal against Edmonton Oilers during the second period of the first game of the second round of playoff action at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

The Flames haven’t come close to their A game that got them 50 wins in regular-season. The Oilers did in Game 3 when they cruised 4-1.

“The first game here was a weird one and we let it get away in game 2. We need to get a cushion for Marky (goalie Jacob Markstrom) tonight,” said Johnny Gaudreau, who has struggled along with Matthew Tkachuk in the last three games with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl eating them up in the battle of first-line, best-player situation. McDavid has 11 points in the series and Draisaitl 13, including four straight games with at least three point efforts.

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“We have to start playing to our identity (tight-checking),” said Tkachuk, who hasn’t been anywhere near the disruptive, after the whistle player he usually is, stirring up stuff. He’s been very quiet, especially in Game 4 when he had one shot and one hit in the entire game.

Once again, Draisaitl, whose ankle issue looks like it’s getting better every game with the points he’s racking up, plus his ability to spin off checkers, and Darnell Nurse, playing with a core-muscle problem but also getting some aggressiveness and speed back to his game, didn’t skate in the morning.

Neither did Evander Kane, who leads the playoffs with 12 goals in 11 games. His girlfriend Mara gave birth to a baby boy Iverson Frank Kane Wednesday. Kane wasn’t in the building for the 11: 30 am skate but will play.

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“He’s healthy and available,” said coach Jay Woodcroft, in his most-used injury or player missing update.

The Oiler forward lineup probably won’t change which means Devin Shore and Derick Brassard still sitters. Calgary didn’t play fourth-liner Brett Richie in Game 4 even though he scored in both games here. They dressed defenceman Chris Tanev (suspected shoulder injury) for the first time in the series but had seven D with Michael Stone getting five minutes. If they feel there are no issues with Tanev getting through the game, maybe they sit Stone and Ritchie gets back in on the fourth line.

Thing to watch for: Smith has given up five goals in the first six minutes of the two games in Calgary. Jacob Markstrom in the Calgary net has surrendered at least four goals in all four games and has a mediocre .824 save percentage when the game has been at even-strength. Calgary needs Markstrom to outplay Smith to survive.

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A prayer to the hockey gods

Fans Arrive at Rogers Place before the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames playoff hockey game on Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Edmonton.
Fans Arrive at Rogers Place before the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames playoff hockey game on Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Edmonton. Photo by Greg Southam /Postmedia

Paul Juric penned this prayer to the hockey gods after the Oiler’s first game in Calgary. The game was full of excitement but didn’t end up with a win for the good guys. (yes, the Flames are the bad guys)

Since writing this prayer the Oilers have gone on to win 3 straight games. Who am I to argue with the gods of the rink? Maybe, if we all say it together we can get the outcome we’ve been cheering for.

Oilers Prayer

Our Oilers that aren’t in Edmonton, goaltending be thy game.

Thy confidence come, thy game be won, on the road as it is at Edmonton.

Give us this day to hold up our heads.

Forgives us the slow start, that we are champions with heart.

Lead us not into penalties, but deliver us some defence.

For ours is the victory, from the start till the end.

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Forever and ever, Amen!


Edmonton Oiler fan gives thumbs up. (Cartoon by Malcolm Mayes)
Edmonton Oiler fan gives thumbs up. (Cartoon by Malcolm Mayes) jpg

Watch the Oilers pre-game press conference

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Watch the game in style at the Road Game Watch Party at Rogers Place

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You can also enjoy the Ford Tailgate Party live at the Ice District Plaza. Tailgate parties will include live entertainment from The Barkells and the Oilers Drum and Brass, hot food, cold beverages, appearances from team mascot Hunter, Playoff game and concert ticket giveaways and the game on the big screen so fans can cheer on the Oilers.

In addition, the City of Edmonton has partnered with the Oilers Entertainment Group and the Edmonton Downtown Business Association to host free watch parties before the Edmonton Oilers’ home games on Sunday, May 22, Tuesday, May 24 and Saturday, May 28 (if required) at Sir Winston Churchill Square.

There will be a large screen set-up, and fans are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to join the excitement. It’s family-friendly, so no alcohol will be allowed. However, food trucks will be on site.

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Fans are gearing up for Game 5

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My new #LetsGoOilers #97 McDavid jersey arrived just in time for Game 5’s big game tonight vs Calgary

It’ll be tough to eliminate the Flames on their ice but the Banham’s are cheering the Oilers on. It’s been a really fun Stanley Cup run so far following my team 🏒 #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/0YMG5sLn2N

— Tyler Banham 🇨🇦 🇺🇦 (@tylerbanham) May 26, 2022

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Even Baby Yoda is getting into the Spirit


Edmonton Oilers Playoff Mega 50/50 jackpot exceeds $700,0000


Terry Jones: Plenty of NHL playoff teams dealing with demons

Terry Jones

Connor McDavid (97) and goaltender Mike Smith (41) of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate their victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup playoff series at Rogers Place on May 24, 2022, in Edmonton.
Connor McDavid (97) and goaltender Mike Smith (41) of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate their victory against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup playoff series at Rogers Place on May 24, 2022, in Edmonton. Photo by Codie McLachlan /Getty Images

For a moment there, it seemed that the hockey gods were working to create and even promote the matchup.

Nathan MacKinnon, of the Colorado Avalanche, at 17: 14 of the third period, had just scored a goal of goals in the Stanley Cup playoffs — an inspired end-to-end individual act of brilliance to equal just about anything orchestrated by the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid.

Hats filled the air for the third goal and fourth point of the game by MacKinnon to give the Avalanche a 4-3 lead and seemingly insure a four-game-to-one series victory.

More important, to fans in Denver it seemed to exorcise the demons of the Avs and slay their second-round playoff curse.

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Fans of the Maple Leafs can relate to the condition. For five straight years, Toronto has followed up very good regular seasons with inexplicable first-round exits. Last year, the Leafs were up three games to one and lost the best-of-seven series to the Montreal Canadiens.

Colorado has made stunning second-round exits three years in a row.

When MacKinnon scored his absolutely gorgeous goal, it appeared to set up a Connor McDavid vs. Nathan MacKinnon marquee matchup for the Western Conference final. McDavid and the Oilers had put themselves in position to do their part with three chances as they went into Game 5 in Calgary

Thursday, they were leading their series by the same three-games-to-one count as Colorado went into their Game 5 on Wednesday.

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Evander Kane has been money in bank but can Oilers buck up after playoffs?

Jim Matheson

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 12: Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his empty net goal behind referee Frederick L’Ecuyer #17 during the third period in a 4-2 Oilers win in Game Six of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena on May 12, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 12: Evander Kane #91 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates his empty net goal behind referee Frederick L’Ecuyer #17 during the third period in a 4-2 Oilers win in Game Six of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena on May 12, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How /Getty Images

With every goal Evander Kane scores in these playoffs, you can hear the ka-ching, ka-ching around the “Let’s Go Oilers” — maybe not as deafening as the fan chant, but Kane has been absolute money in the bank for Edmonton with 12 goals through the first 11 games.

And, with every goal, the dollar figure goes up to resign him.

But, that’s the price of doing business for GM Ken Holland after the playoffs end as he watches Kane tie Holland’s former Detroit Red Wings winger Johan Franzen for the most playoff goals through the opening 11 games of a post-season.

Franzen, an imposing Swede who had to quit the NHL because of concussion problems, had an out-of-body experience 12 games into the spring of 2008 — nine goals in a four-game sweep of Colorado, breaking Gordie Howe’s Detroit record (eight) for goals in a single series. He finished with 13 in 16 games as the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.

Kane and the Oilers, now up 3-1 after Kane’s two goals in Game 4, still have to beat Calgary to advance to the NHL’s Final Four. But they now have three shots at it.

And Kane has five goals in the series, same as Zach Hyman, which undercuts the Flames theory that “one guy is beating us” without mentioning Connor McDavid’s name. Actually, Leon Draisaitl has four straight three point games, an NHL record, so it’s not just No. 97. Kane, playing the left side on the NHL’s top playoff line with McDavid and Draisaitl, has been much more than a guy along for the ride.

As he said a few days ago, “I knew I was getting another opportunity in the NHL, it was a matter of taking advantage of it.” He certainly has.

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Terry Jones: Battle of Alberta series is setting records for setting records

Terry Jones

Edmonton Oilers celebrate their win defeating the Calgary Flames 5-3 during NHL playoff action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, May 24, 2022.
Edmonton Oilers celebrate their win defeating the Calgary Flames 5-3 during NHL playoff action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, May 24, 2022. Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

Bottle it up. Cork it. And put it on the top shelf of a special cabinet.

When it’s over, whether that’s in Game 5 Thursday in Calgary, back here for a Game 6 if necessary Saturday, or even if it goes the distance, the younger generations have now discovered a sample of why witnesses that were there 31 years ago and earlier would get all emotional, wild-eyed and unnaturally nostalgic when reflecting back on the Stanley Cup Battles of Alberta of legend and lore.

Okay. It’s a long way from being a classic yet. Some of the hockey has been so-so. But now, as the 2022 Pacific Division Final reverts to Calgary for Game 5 with the Edmonton Oilers leading three games to one, today’s generation not only has witnessed how eventful it can be but has played a part in creating the special scenes for the two games here.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the longest-serving Oiler veteran in his 11th year who scored the first two playoff goals he’s scored at home with fans in the stands said “The atmosphere in this building was something I’ve never experienced.”

Stanley Cup Battles of Alberta are not a playoff series you can summarize in a couple of paragraphs in a sports history book.

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Oilers Notebook: Holloway a hot prospect, but will have to wait his turn

Jim Matheson

Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman (18) celebrates his goal with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) against the Calgary Flames during NHL playoff action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, May 24, 2022.
Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman (18) celebrates his goal with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) against the Calgary Flames during NHL playoff action at Rogers Place in Edmonton, May 24, 2022. Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

Much fan discussion about Dylan Holloway, the Edmonton Oilers top prospect forward, maybe getting into the playoff fire in the Battle of Alberta but that is a long-shot unless there’s a run of injuries, plus they also have veterans Devin Shore and Derick Brassard sitting.

“There’s a sequence of events,” said Oilers general manager Ken Holland.

It’s a short answer for a long set of circumstances. Holloway would need to leap-frog worthy NHL players first, plus there would have to be lots of medical issues.

Holloway is part of the farm-team Bakersfield call-up list along with older forwards Brad Malone and Seth Griffith. He skated in pre-game in Calgary, a tip-off that they aren’t just looking at the 20-year-old as an extra body. But again, this doesn’t look like a 1985 scenario where Glen Sather put the untried NHLer Esa Tikkanen in after a Game 1 Stanley Cup finals loss to Philadelphia there. Tikkanen came over from IFK Helsinki.

“We called up Darren Helm once (from Grand Rapids) just before the playoffs in 2008 after he had played five earlier games for us. Babs (coach Mike Babcock) liked Darren, and we played him in 18 playoff games. Then we sent him back to the American league next season,” said Holland.

“Then we had Justin Abdelkader play two league games for us (in 2009 after a season in Grand Rapids) and he played (10 games) in the playoffs for us,” said Holland.

Holloway, who will almost surely be on the team next season because he’ll be on a $925,000 Oilers contract, has yet to play an NHL league or playoff game, mostly because of injuries (broken scaphoid bone, leg).

“Yes, the plan was he would be up with us the last month but he got hurt (charley horse) in Bakersfield,” said Holland.

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Edmonton Oilers put Calgary Flames in a death grip with Game 4 triumph

Robert Tychkowski

The Edmonton Oilers and their fans celebrate a empty-net goal against the Calgary Flames during their NHL playoff series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
The Edmonton Oilers and their fans celebrate a empty-net goal against the Calgary Flames during their NHL playoff series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Photo by Ed Kaiser /Postmedia

If it’s any comfort to the people of Calgary, the Flames aren’t feeling any pain right now.

Mostly because they are still in shock.

A Battle of Alberta they were favoured and expected to win, one that began with the Flames erupting for two goals in the first 51 seconds of a nine-goal, Game 1 onslaught, is now in Edmonton’s hands.

The Oilers have the best-of-seven series in a death grip, up 3-1 after Tuesday’s victory and showing no signs of straying from a formula that has reduced the powerful Flames to dead men walking.

Wounded badly in their brief visit to Edmonton — 4-1 in Game 3 and 5-3 in Game 4 — the Flames will likely bleed out long before this thing ever sees a Game 7.

The series is Edmonton’s to lose.

“It was a gut-check for our team,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, after Edmonton roared out to a 3-0 lead and then fought off a ferocious Calgary comeback attempt that was highlighted by one of the worst goals in Stanley Cup playoff history.

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