NHL picks: 4 best bets for Oilers vs Flames
Our NHL expert has picked out his four best bets as the Calgary Flames host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
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Edmonton Oilers to win
The Battle of Alberta was starting to look one-sided as the Edmonton Oilers rattled off three straight wins after dropping the first game of the series against their provincial rivals.
However, on Tuesday night, the new-look Calgary Flames outlasted Edmonton in a 4-3 victory to improve their record to 3-0-0 with new coach Darryl Sutter behind the bench.
The Flames really have looked quite a bit different. They’re more defensively responsible, they’re playing an aggressive brand of hockey and at times they’ve been a lot less fun to watch as their focus on defense intensifies. That’s just the way Sutter likes it. He has a belief that this team can turn the season around and it looks like the players are believing in him, too.
However, it’s really difficult to beat the Oilers twice in a row. Edmonton has sustained consecutive losses to the same team only twice this season. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been cooking offensively as well. After each registering just one point in the last game, you’d have to think they’re going to make the necessary adjustments to make an even bigger impact on this game.
As good of a coach as Darryl Sutter is, slowing down two of the best players in the world on a regular basis is something no team has figured out yet.
Race to 3 goals: Edmonton Oilers
I would not anticipate this game to be a high-scoring one, but I do think we’ll see Edmonton put at least three on the board if they’re going to win.
Any time you have McDavid and Draisaitl on your team, they’re a real threat to take things over. They may even see some time on the same line to try and overwhelm the Flames.
Connor McDavid to score a goal
If you’re expecting the Oilers to win, chances are McDavid is involved in the scoring. That’s especially true against the Flames this season as he has five goals and six assists in five prior meetings.
McDavid did not score a goal in the last game, but whenever his team needs a big response, the captain seems to deliver.
Over 5.5 total 2-minute penalties
This is a rivalry game and the second game in a series. Tempers were already flaring in the first game of this series and when it’s the Battle of Alberta, penalties are going to come. It’s just the nature of the way these two teams play each other. There were only four total minors handed out in Monday night’s game between the two, but there was one fight that saw Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira injured. There’s going to be some lingering bad blood from that.
In the other four games between the two teams, two games saw five minor penalties called and the other two had 10 minors called.
This game has all the makings of a parade to the penalty box given the way these two teams often play each other, especially in the second half of a series.
#BETYOURWAY: Edmonton to win, race to 3 goals: Edmonton, Connor McDavid to score anytime, over 5.5 2-min penalties
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