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Oilers Take Massive 3-1 Series Lead in Battle of Alberta

Photo by Jeff McIntosh

Oilers Take Massive 3-1 Series Lead in Battle of Alberta

The Edmonton Oilers are just one win away from the Western Conference Final.

On Tuesday evening, the Oilers hosted the Calgary Flames in Game 4 of the battle of Alberta from Rogers Place. Unlike Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing by the visiting Oilers, Tuesday’s game was nose-to-nose and went right down to the wire.

A number of heavy collisions – including one between run-and-gun teammates Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald – highlighted what was a fast paced start to an incredibly important Game 4 that saw Edmonton enter up two games to one after starting the series on the road.

But despite the hilarity, the Oilers did get out to a scorching start. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored just 21 seconds into the contest, before a Zach Hyman power play marker gave Edmonton a quick 2-0 lead before the 10 minute mark of the opening frame. With just over a minute left to play, Evander Kane scored, putting the Oilers up 3-0 after 20 minutes.

Two goals in 36 seconds of the second period got Calgary right back in the game. Elias Lindholm’s power play marker at 9:04 of the middle stanza set the tone for an immediate response from Mikael Backlund on his fourth of the postseason.

Then, with half a period to go, Rasmus Andersson knotted the game at threes on an absurdly unbelievable dump-in that seemingly caught Oilers’ goaltender Mike Smith sleeping.

“I can laugh now,” Smith told reporters post-game. “I don’t think there has been a time in my career where I lost a puck and had no idea where it went.”

It wasn’t pretty, but luckily for the veteran goaltender his teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins bailed him out by potting his second of the game with just 3:27 to play. Evander Kane added his second marker – a power play empty-netter – sealing the deal on a 5-3 win over arch-rival Calgary.

The two teams will now return to Calgary where the Flames will look to keep their season alive at home, while the Oilers will look to close out the hosts and move on to the third round with a date against either the Colorado Avalanche or St. Louis Blues. Action from the Saddledome will begin at 8:30 PM central on Thursday.

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