In game one, fans in Calgary saw some of the most insane playoff hockey to date. In the first period, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane of Calgary were both able to sink a puck in the back of the net within the first 51 seconds of the first period. To any hockey fan, that is an impressive feat, however both Mangiapane and Lindholm are now proud record holders of the fastest two goals ever scored in playoff history. By the end of the first, Calgary had a comfortable (almost game ending) lead of 3-0. Not long into the second period, the Flames saw fit to put the nail in the coffin going up 5-0. The game, for all intents and purposes, was over. A 5 goal deficit is just something that is next to impossible to overcome, not to mention only 9% of teams are able to manage a victory if they are not the first to score.
The second period saw 7 goals scored and things were getting very interesting. In the 3rd, we ended up with a 6-6 tie between the clubs as they continued almost scoring at will. The Flames weren’t done though as they managed to tally another 3 goals before regulation expired, giving them a 9-6 victory in game one along with Matthew Tkachuk achieving the coveted hat trick. This is the first 15 total point playoff game in almost three decades. The last time the NHL saw a playoff game with 15 goals was when the LA Kings defeated the Flames in the 1993 playoffs.
As game two kicked off, it felt like a continuation of game one with an extremely fast start and intense physicality. Shortly into the first period, the Flames opened the scoring with two goals, although they weren’t nearly as fast in their scoring as they were just 48 hours prior. Edmonton wasn’t to be counted out though. The Oilers managed to score as well making the score 2-1. With under five minutes to go, Edmonton engaged in a scrum in front of the Calgary net where a whistle was blown before the puck crossed the plane into the net. The no goal call was reviewed and upheld, much to the chagrin of the Oiler faithful. During the first period, the physicality was much higher than game one, resulting in a whopping 8 minor penalties being handed out.
As both teams came out for the second period, Edmonton had roughly a minute left on their power play and could not capitalize. Unfortunately, as the power play ended, Edmonton was caught with too many men on the ice and Calgary now had a turn at having a man advantage. Just 2:04 seconds into the second period, Calgary found the sweet spot again, increasing their lead to 3-1.
After that goal, there was a skirmish that resulted in both teams going a man down creating a 4 on 4 scenario. 30 seconds into the 4 on 4, Edmonton scored, but the goal was waved off due to a questionable goaltender interference call. That didn’t discourage the Oilers much, as they put another one in the back of the net, making the score 3-2 in favor of Calgary. With just under 5 minutes left in the second, Edmonton managed to tie it up 3-3, taking advantage of a 4 minute major penalty for high sticking. After a few more dust ups between the sides, the period came to a close still tied at 3.
In the third, there was a lot of back and forth between the teams, but the score remained tied at three until Zach Hyman broke the tie with 9:46 left in regulation. This marks the first time in the series that Edmonton had the lead. Shortly after that, the Oilers scored again making it 5-3.
While we did not see the overall offensive domination that was displayed in game 1, both teams still demonstrated their ability to score quickly and stack goals. This is a heated series full of emotion that looks to keep fans on the edge of their seat. So who will win the Battle of Alberta? If you are interested in finding out, tune in at 8PM ET on ESPN as the series heads to Edmonton tied at one, where the Oilers look to take advantage of home ice and get a leg up in the series.