They turned the series into a top five with the home ice feature shifting to Rogers Place.
They scored 13 goals (11 of which are calculated) against the Calgary star in two games.
They made four goals twice in two games, sowing the seed so deep in Calgary’s head that no lead for them would ever be safe.
They make it very clear that Flames doesn’t have an answer for Conor McDavid, mostly because there isn’t one.
After a 9-6 loss in Game 1 and an early 2-0 deficit in Game 2 made it look as if the Oilers were on top against Calgary, it suddenly looked like Edmonton’s advantage after a spirited 5-3 comeback on Friday. .
As Michael Scott of The Office said so eloquently when the company’s power struggle turned in his favour: “Okay, well, well, how’s the turntables.”
“We’re all happy to split up in Calgary, especially after the first game,” said Leon Driesitl, whose breakaway goal was a slasher in a Game 2 victory that changed everything. “We are very happy to be going home with a breakup.
“We had a good game on Friday and we still think we haven’t played our best yet. We are looking forward to doing that on Sunday.”
There’s nothing like game-to-game momentum in the playoffs – the LA Kings won twice in a row after losing 6-0, 8-2 – but fighting back to win Game 2 completely changes the energy in this series.
It takes the Oilers off the Endangered Species list (teams who are behind 2-0 lose the series 80 percent of the time) and puts them on par with the Big Bad Flames.
“After the first game, we knew we had to be better,” said Edmonton defender Evan Bouchard, who is growing by leaps and bounds in these playoffs.
“And we knew we would be better. I think it showed up in Game 2. It’s a learning process. It’s a long streak, you play the same team over and over and things will change. We changed Game 2 and got a bonus.”
Edmonton’s ability to pull off the canvas has made for some attractive plays. They came back from 6-2 to tie 6-6 in the first game and used another four-goal streak to turn their 3-1 down to 5-3 on Friday.
Coming back like that, on the road, is an impressive post-season display for a team that, prior to this season, had not won a playoff tour since 2017.
“I really liked the level of our perseverance to find a way to win,” said coach Jay Woodcroft. “It’s finding a way to make time out of the year.
“We won the Friday night game where we scored two called up again. We found a way to win the game. How often does that happen?”
not very much. But, when a team never says quit, and is led by a leader who can take on a task alone, this game is never over.
“We have a lot of characters in our group,” said Drysittle. “We know we can score. We know we can get back to the games.”
They also have a knack for learning from their mistakes and being better the next time the disc goes down, which is why they haven’t lost three games in a row in regulation or overtime since mid-January.
“Game 1 was about the level of competition and willingness to play, not pushing the pucks,” Draisaitl said. “That’s something that was a lot better in Game 2 for us.”
Leading 3-1 in the second half at home and poised to dominate the 2-0 series, the Flames know they let one of them slip. They are now face to face with an opponent the game is improving.
“It felt like we invited them back to him,” said Rasmus Anderson, the fire defender. “Especially after the match started.”
The Oilers are definitely back, and they love every minute of it.
“It’s fun,” said Draisaitl. “It’s the battle of Alberta. Both cities are very intense about it and who knows when this will happen again. This is a great time for both teams and for both cities.”
The series lives up to the hype, which seemed almost impossible considering the amount of hype. But, now that the Oilers have taken their stand, have stolen the home ice advantage and shown they can win this thing, it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t get any hotter.
For a team Oilers who have spent an entire season weathering adversity and silencing skeptics, the heat is good for them. They say they are ready for anything.
“In those times, you’re learning from each other,” Woodcroft said. “You get to know the capabilities of people in stressful situations. Most importantly, you know we have the people who can get the job done.
“If we work together and play towards a certain kind of identity, we think we have what it takes.”