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The Calgary Flames take a 1-0 series lead after a wild 9-6 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Scotiabank Saddledome

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

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Game 1 of the Battle of Alberta is set to begin at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 p.m. The Oilers are on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a grueling seven-game series with the Los Angeles Kings. But there’s nothing better than an Oilers-Flames series in the playoffs. Last time this happened was in 1991. Soak it up, folks. This should be legendary.  🏒 🥅

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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 One of the Battle of Alberta second round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Drop a comment into the feed and say hello!

10:35 p.m.

Flames take 1-0 series lead after wild win at home

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 Calgary Flames take a 1-0 series lead after a wild 9-6 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk scored a hat-trick on an empty net goal to seal the deal for the hometown squad. The Oilers looked to be back in the game momentarily after Kailer Yamamoto tied the game 6-6 with just 1:26 into the third period.

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But the Flames took the lead back shortly after as Rasmus Andersson made it 7-6 and the Flames didn’t look back. The Flames outshot the Oilers 48-28.

Watch the post-game press conference here

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9:30 p.m.

Oilers come roaring back, trail Flames 6-5

May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. May 18, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Calgary Flames during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Photo by Sergei Belski /USA TODAY Sports

In a wild frenzy of a second period that saw both teams combine for seven goals, it was the Edmonton Oilers who arguably came away with the momentum as they got two goals from Zach Hyman, and a late one from Leon Draisaitl, to make it a 6-5 game heading into the third period.

The Flames outshot the Oilers 21-11 in the middle frame, and are leading 40-18 in the shot category on the game thus far, but the Oilers have made their chances count on Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

Calgary got two goals from Brett Coleman to give the Flames a commanding 5-1 lead early. Evan Bouchard was the recipient of a gorgeous pass from Connor McDavid to make it 5-2 until Matthew Tkachuk responded on the powerplay to make it 6-2.

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We’re in for a doozy of a third period.

Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman 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 Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman 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 Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

8:30 p.m.

Flames off to hot start

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 Wednesday, May 18, 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 Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

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The Calgary Flames are off to a hot start as they lead the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 after the first period at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames got goals two goals in 51 seconds from Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane to give the home team an early 2-0 lead. Five minutes later, Brett Ritchie made it 3-0 on an unassisted goal that saw Oilers goaltender Mike Smith chased from the net in place of backup Mikko Koskinen.

The Flames outshot the Oilers 19-7 in the first period and outhit the Oilers 11-5 to boot.

Slap shots for charity

Hockey fans take shots at a Calgary Flames junk van at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Fans get to take slapshots at the van each time the Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames during their second round series with funds raised going to the Sports Central charity. Hockey fans take shots at a Calgary Flames junk van at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Fans get to take slapshots at the van each time the Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames during their second round series with funds raised going to the Sports Central charity. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia Larry Jenkinson breaks the window of a Calgary Flames junk van at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Fans get to take slapshots at the van each time the Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames during their second round series with funds raised going to the Sports Central charity. Larry Jenkinson breaks the window of a Calgary Flames junk van at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Fans get to take slapshots at the van each time the Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames during their second round series with funds raised going to the Sports Central charity. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia Emmett Mulheron shoots a puck at a Calgary Flames junker van in support of Sports Central at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their second round series Wednesday. Emmett Mulheron shoots a puck at a Calgary Flames junker van in support of Sports Central at United Cycle in Edmonton, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. The Edmonton Oilers face the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their second round series Wednesday. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Terry Jones: Gretzky picks Calgary to win Battle of Alberta

Terry Jones

Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers. Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers. Photo by File photo /Postmedia

The fella on the phone was discussing cataract eye surgeries only a couple of hours after I’d returned from the hospital after having had my second in eight days.

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The fella?

Wayne Gretzky.

It’ll be strange analyzing an Oilers-Flames battle of Alberta for Gretzky and Messier regardless of which network draws which games.

“I think for both the Calgary Flames fans and the Edmonton Oilers fans it’s been a long time coming,” said Gretzky.

“Both organizations have gone through a lot since that period of time. Both got to a Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final and lost it. And then both went through a lot more. But now this is a new era and I really admire the way that Calgary played from start to finish this season and I really respect the way the Oilers turned around their season during the last 35 games.

“Calgary has a great line with three guys that scored 40 goals each. They play hard and aggressive and they have just a fabulous goaltender. And from an Oilers point of view, they have two of the best players in hockey. Edmonton is playing more like a team than it has seemed to play as a team in the last 10 years. And when you get a shutout in Game 7 it means you’re firing on all cylinders.

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Watch the pre-game press conference

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Notes from the rink

  • Flames D Chris Tanev is on the ice for morning skate prior to Game 1 against Oilers, as is freshly recalled d-man Jusso Valimaki.
  • Flames Head Coach Darryl Sutter on Chris Tanev: “He’s feeling great.”
  • Edmonton and Calgary Mayors join in on the fun

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    Oilers fans gearing up for tonight

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    Oilers Mega 50/50 eclipses $1 million

    The Mega 50/50 raffle has already eclipsed the $1-million mark Wednesday as the Oilers gear up to face the Flames in Calgary for Game 1 tonight.

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    The 50/50 will run until May 24, with half the proceeds going towards the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF).

    You can purchase your 50/50 tickets here.

    Oilers Mega 50/50 draw for the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. (Screenshot/Nhl.com) Oilers Mega 50/50 draw for the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. (Screenshot/Nhl.com)

    Stanley Cup Playoffs Battle of Alberta should be epic

    By Terry Jones

    Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith comments after team practise in Edmonton on Monday May 16, 2022 where the team was preparing for their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Calgary Flames which begins on Wednesday May 18, 2022 in Calgary. Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith comments after team practise in Edmonton on Monday May 16, 2022 where the team was preparing for their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Calgary Flames which begins on Wednesday May 18, 2022 in Calgary. Photo by Larry Wong /Postmedia

    Paint the line back down in the middle of the floor in that bar in Red Deer. Calgary fans to the left. Edmonton fans to the right.

    For the first time in 31 years, the Battle of Alberta is back in the Stanley Cup playoffs and there is every expectation it’ll be insane again.

    It’ll be the first Battle of Alberta in the playoffs since Esa Tikkanen won Game 7 in overtime for Edmonton in 1991.

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    “Every hockey fan in Edmonton, every hockey fan in Calgary and every fan in every corner of the province wanted a Battle of Alberta and now they have it,” raved Oilers President Bob Nicholson, a Calgary resident for 18 years as head of Hockey Canada said only minutes after the Flames made the match with a Game 7 overtime win over the Dallas Stars.

    “This is going to be crazy good for both cities and for the entire province,” Nicholson said of the series that will open Wednesday in Calgary.

    Nicholson noted Calgary fans raised their game by creating a ‘Red Lot’ special outdoor sea of red scene outside the Saddledome that should create a competition with Edmonton’s newly-opened Ice District outside Rogers Place that didn’t exist in the ‘80s.

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    “The atmosphere inside Rogers Place along with that atmosphere at Ford Hall and in the Ice District will be electric and it looks like Calgary will try to match it.”

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    Will Calgary Flames try and drag Edmonton Oilers into the alley?

    By Robert Tychkowski

    Zack Kassian (44) of the Edmonton Oilers pummels Matthew Tkachuk (19) of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 11, 2020 in Calgary. Zack Kassian (44) of the Edmonton Oilers pummels Matthew Tkachuk (19) of the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 11, 2020 in Calgary. Photo by Derek Leung /Getty Images, file

    It’s not going to get 1980s ugly between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, those days are gone for good, but there is going to be a mean, hard edge to the first Battle of Alberta in 31 years.

    How mean and how hard remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if this series gets dragged into the alley a few times.

    And if that happens, is it advantage Calgary?

    Man-for-man, skill-for-skill, the two teams match up pretty evenly. If the Flames have an edge, it’s in their ability to make life miserable for their opponents.

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    They are one of the toughest clubs in the NHL, with the likes of Milan Lucic, Brett Ritchie, Erik Gudbranson and Nikita Zadorov on staff. And with an agitator like Matthew Tkachuk setting fires, the Flames can be real menace when they want to be.

    “I know, having watched the film between Dallas and Calgary, there were a lot of post-whistle scrums,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft, before the team jetted down to Calgary for Game 1 Wednesday.

    “That might be their tactic, and they can focus on whatever they want, but we want to play whistle-to-whistle.”

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    Oilers’ Draisaitl showed guts last series, in for even bigger battle

    By Jim Matheson  

    Connor McDavid (97) and Leon Draisaitl (29) of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate their victory against the Los Angeles Kings following Game 7 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Place on May 14, 2022 in Edmonton. Connor McDavid (97) and Leon Draisaitl (29) of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate their victory against the Los Angeles Kings following Game 7 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Place on May 14, 2022 in Edmonton. Photo by Codie McLachlan /Getty Images, file

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    Connor McDavid is playing like he’s on another planet right now with everybody else stuck on Mother Earth, but surely for the Edmonton Oilers to get past the Calgary Flames in this Battle of Alberta, the captain will need his sidekick, Leon Draisaitl, who was on a leg and a prayer late last series.

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    Draisaitl, who may have a high ankle sprain, was absent for the optional skate Monday along with other big-minute players Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Evander Kane, but the eagle-eyed TSN reporter Ryan Rishaug didn’t see his water bottle on the ledge at the bench before practice Tuesday either and when it started, Draisaitl wasn’t there again. Neither were Nugent-Hopkins and Kane, which is a large gulp when McDavid and Zach Hyman are skating but three of the Oilers top-five forwards are not.

    But we’ll see for face-off Wednesday at the Saddledome.

    On Oilers Now, Tuesday, general manager Ken Holland said all three absent guys would be in the lineup for the opener, seconding coach Jay Woodcroft’s earlier post-practice statement: “Everybody who didn’t skate is available.”

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    He borrowed that line from Calgary coach Darryl Sutter when he used it in the Dallas series.

    Neither Kane nor Nugent-Hopkins appeared to be hurt in Game 7. Kane played 18:02 minutes and Nugent-Hopkins 18:58 against L.A., and is expected to be the second-line centre against Calgary. But there’s something wrong. When asked if there are family issues for them, he said no.

    Brett Kulak missed the Game 7 morning skate but played that night, after his wife gave birth to a girl.

    After Los Angeles Kings’ defenceman Mikey Anderson hauled Draisaitl down in a scrum in Game 6 of the last series and his right leg bent awkwardly, he still played 22 and a half minutes in Game 7. But he wasn’t dancing. Before Game 7, he was described as “good” by Woodcroft, a man of fewer words than normal in the playoffs. On Monday when Draisaitl didn’t skate, Woodcroft upped it by a word, saying he’s “very good.”

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