Thursday, December 8 2022

The goaltending in the Calgary Flames-Edmonton Oilers series has been interesting, to say the least.

The opening game of the second-round series was a 9-6 Calgary victory in which Oilers goalie Mike Smith was pulled after giving up three goals and the Flames’ Jacob Markstrom had a .786 save percentage.

Though Smith rebounded as Edmonton took a 2-1 lead in the series, Markstrom, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, gave up nine goals over the next two games and was pulled for the third period of Game 3.

Though both goalies made good saves in Game 4, they also each made a bad gaffe on Tuesday night.

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Markstrom’s was first. He went behind his net to play the puck, only to bobble it and have it go straight to Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who fired in the puck ahead of a diving Markstrom 21 seconds into the game.

The score was 3-0 by the first end of the first period, but the Flames rallied for two goals in the second period and tied it in the third, thanks to a gaffe by Smith.

Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson fired a clearing shot from his defensive zone on a penalty kill and the puck eluded Smith for a 3-3 score.

According to the NHL summary, the shot traveled 132 feet.

“It’s funny. When that shot was taken, I was thinking, ‘You know, that shot could go into the net,'” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “And it did.”

The gaffe ended up not costing the Oilers. They went back ahead 4-3 on another Nugent-Hopkins goal, this time on a rebound, with 3:27 left in the third period.

“I can laugh now, right?” Smith told reporters after the game. “I don’t think there’s been a time in my career where I’ve lost the puck where I had no idea where it went. … Obviously, you don’t want that to happen ever, but unbelievable goal by Nuge at the end there to give us a boost back.”

Smith made a couple strong saves as the Flames pressed for the equalizer and Evander Kane scored an empty-net goal. It was his second goal of the game and 12th of the playoffs.

Leon Draisaitl became the first player in playoff history to record four consecutive three-point games.

The Oilers, 5-3 winners, took a 3-1 lead in the series. They can wrap it up Thursday night in Calgary and reach the conference final for the first time since 2006.

Big hit helps Rangers in win vs. Hurricanes

New York defenseman Jacob Trouba bowled over Carolina Hurricanes forward Max Domi with a big hit, and the Rangers found themselves with a power play.

Stephen Lorentz went after Trouba and they fought. Lorentz picked up the instigator penalty and New York’s Frank Vatrano scored on the power play for a 1-0 lead.

“I don’t think he was going in there to fight. He’s never fought anyone before,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “He was sticking up for his teammates, which you like, but you can’t take a penalty.”

The Rangers won 4-1 at Madison Square Garden to tie the second-round series at two games each. The Hurricanes won every home game and lost every road game in the playoffs.

Game 5 is in Carolina on Thursday.

Wednesday’s game

St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, TNT. Avalanche lead 3-1.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL playoffs: Jacob Markstrom, Mike Smith make goalie gaffes

Source: Yahoo Sports

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