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Flames First Real Test Under Darryl Sutter Is Tonight

The Flames will have to put that defence to use as Connor McDavid and the Oilers come to town.

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

TV: ESPN+, SN1, SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames (13-12-3, 29 pts) - Edmonton Oilers (18-12-0, 36 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames have the unenviable task of having to shut down Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers this week. This will be the REAL test for Darryl Sutter’s new look Flames as they played near perfect defence against Montreal over the last two games. They will need perfect defence if they plan on snagging two points at the Saddledome this evening.

The Flames have had a new attitude and they’ve been playing like a team over Sutter’s first two games behind the Flames bench. They limited Montreal to 43 shots over those two games and were extremely difficult to play against. Calgary is going to need that type of effort on Monday night as the Oilers have won four out of their last five and have scored 19 goals in those four wins. The last time these two met Connor McDavid broke out of a three game pointless streak with three points in a 3-2 victory over the Flames. Edmonton has also won three straight against the Flames after losing the first game of the season 6-4 back on February 6th.

How tough has McDavid been to play against? Since his goose egg in three against the Maple Leafs, he’s scored three goals and handed out nine assists, including three separate three point efforts. He’s also been lethal when playing Calgary in 2021 with five goals and five assists. We know, you’re tired of hearing about how good McDavid is, but it’s going to be a tall order to slow him and that potent Edmonton offence down.

If there ever was a team to do it, it is this version of the Flames. I wouldn’t expect this to be a 2-1 type game. The Flames may have to accept the fact that McDavid is going to be a factor and try to shut down the rest of Edmonton’s squad. McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined for 94 points, but after that it’s not been a goal scoring bonanza.

Whatever the case may be, the Flames need to take one of these two games against Edmonton. Calgary is currently seven points behind the Oilers in the North Division standings and catching them will be tough if they drop both of these contests with their hated rival. Calgary’s best shot might be to try and slowly pick off the 4th place Canadiens while keeping an eye on the Oilers results down the stretch. This is a big test for Calgary and we will see how Darryl Sutter’s defence first system handles the second highest scoring team in the NHL.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Markstrom (E): 10-7-2, 2.67 GAA, .911 SV%

Oilers: Smith (E): 9-2-0, 2.16 GAA, .927 SV%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (11), Points- Lindholm (24), PIM- Tkachuk (28), Save%- Markstrom (.911)

Oilers: Goals- McDavid (17), Points- McDavid (52), PIM: Nurse (38). Save%- Smith (.927)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Edmonton Oilers Coverage: Copper & Blue

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 3 - Montreal Canadiens 1

Edmonton Oilers 1 - Vancouver Canucks 2

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

Ottawa Senators v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Sean Monahan (C): 5 points in last 5 games

Edmonton Oilers

Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Tyson Barrie (D): 6 points in last 5 games