The Calgary Flames managed to come back from three goals behind and tie Game 4 before ultimately losing 5-3. They’ll try to carry that momentum into a must-win Game 5 against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
Calgary trails Edmonton three games to one in the best-of-seven series, but is at home as a -154 favorite over the Oilers (+128) for Game 5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Sutter pleased with team’s resilience in Game 4
Edmonton took a 3-0 lead after one period in Game 4. The Flames then settled down and rallied, eventually tying the game at 3-3 on a bizarre long-range Rasmus Andersson goal midway through the third period.
Yes, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-winner for the Oilers with 3:27 left in regulation, and Edmonton added an empty-netter to pad the margin. But the Flames still managed to hang in the game after a shaky start.
“I thought we showed a resolve and resilience,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter told reporters. “They score that empty-net [goal] the first minute of the game and quite honestly, I thought we had a really good first period. And that’s what I told them after the first: It’s a winnable game for us for sure tonight. And we damn near did it.”
Playing at home should boost the Flames. Calgary put up a 25-9-7 record at home this season, and have won four of six games at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even thought Calgary must win three times in a row, it all starts with a win on Thursday.
“I think just one game at a time right now,” Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau told reporters. “We know where we’re at in the series. Take it one game at a time and have fun playing in front of our fans here and a sold-out crowd and go from there.”
Oilers expect the best from Flames in Game 5
Edmonton expects to get a tough test in Game 5, with a desperate Flames team playing for their playoff lives.
“I think any team that has their backs against the wall and facing an elimination game, it’s hard to beat the team and knock them out,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman told reporters. “I think we’re expecting their best version. I think that’s to be expected and that’s what we’re prepared for. It’s really hard to knock a team out, so I think you have to get excited for that opportunity and you just take everything one game at a time.”
The Oilers are an overwhelming -610 favorite to win the series, with the Flames at +430 to advance. But Sutter still believes his team can overcome the odds.
“I know we’re in a hole, but it’s like saying we had to win on the road. Now we have to win at home,” Sutter said. “We’re not going to go away easy and if they thought they were going to beat us easy, that wasn’t the case.”