The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 5-4 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday (May 26) to win their best-of-seven Western Conference Semi-Final series 4-1. Connor McDavid’s goal in overtime of Game 5 brought an abrupt end to the first postseason Battle of Alberta in 31 years after just five games. But, oh, what an amazing five games they were.
Right from the start of Game 1, the series featured offensive fireworks and wild momentum swings. The frantic action and frequent goals reminded more of the run-and-gun 1980s when Calgary and Edmonton met in the playoffs on a semi-annual basis. Records that had gone untouched for decades were rewritten throughout the series, which turned out to be a hockey trivia nerd’s dream. Here’s a look at records established in the Battle of Alberta of 2022.
Flames Strike First and Fast
The series wasn’t a minute old before the first record fell, as Calgary’s Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane each scored in the opening 51 seconds, setting an NHL mark for the fastest two goals by one team from the start of a playoff contest. The previous record of 54 seconds was set in 1993 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, with goals coming from Mario Lemieux and Rick Tocchet.
Lindholm and Mangiapane also established a new NHL record for the fastest two goals in a playoff game, regardless of team. The Calgary forward’s goals came one second faster than the previous best of 52 seconds, set in 1993 by Mark Hardy of the Los Angeles Kings and Greg Adams of the Vancouver Canucks.
Goals continued coming fast and furious throughout the series, right through Game 5, when the teams combined for a ridiculous four goals in 1:11. Zach Hyman got it started, scoring for Edmonton at 14:57 of the second period, followed by back-to-back Flames tallies — Johnny Gaudreau at 15:12 and Calle Jarnkrok at 15:28 – and finally Oilers blueliner Evan Bouchard at 16:08.
The back-and-forth offensive outburst broke the NHL record for the fastest four goals by both teams in Stanley Cup Playoffs history, 22 seconds less than the previous mark of 1:33 that was set in 1976 by the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Keith Scores One for the Old-Timers
Edmonton blueliner Duncan Keith tallied in Game 2, becoming the oldest player in Oilers’ history to score a playoff goal. At 38 years and 308 days, Keith was more than three-and-a-half years older than the previous holder of that distinction, Jaroslav Pouzar, who was 35 years and 104 days when he scored an empty-net goal in Edmonton’s victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the 1987 Campbell Conference Final.
McDavid’s Multi-Point Production
After registering two or more points in six of the seven games in Edmonton’s first-round victory over the Kings, McDavid opened the Battle of Alberta with four points in Game 1, two points in Game 2, and three in Game 3. That gave the Oilers’ captain nine multi-point outings through his first 10 games of the playoff year, a feat never before achieved in NHL postseason history.
Draisaitl Dropping Dimes
Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl totaled 15 helpers over the five games, establishing a new NHL benchmark for most assists in a playoff series. Draisaitl set the record when he assisted on McDavid’s overtime winner, breaking a three-way tie with Wayne Gretzky and Rick Middleton, who had 14 in 1985 and 1983, respectively.
Draisaitl had four assists alone in the second period of Game 3, the most assists in a single playoff period in NHL history. The previous mark of three had been equaled more than 100 times.
Additionally, Draisaitl registered at least three points in all five games against the Flames. Prior to the series, the NHL playoff record for consecutive games with three-plus points was three. Draisaitl broke that record in Game 4, then broke it again in Game 5. If he racks up three or more points in his next game, Draisaitl will equal the longest streak in NHL history, regular season or playoffs.
Hyman’s Scoring Streak
Hyman had a pair of goals in the series opener, then scored once each in Games 2 through 5, making him the first player in Oilers history with at least one goal in each of the first five games of a series. By scoring in Edmonton’s next game, Hyman would equal the franchise record of six consecutive games with a goal, set by Esa Tikkanen in 1990, the Oilers’ last Stanley Cup championship-winning year.
Draisaitl and Hyman will have a few days to recharge before looking to prolong their streaks. Edmonton doesn’t open the Western Conference Final until Tuesday (May 31), when the Oilers meet the Colorado Avalanche at Denver’s Ball Arena.
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports writer and broadcaster. His experience includes working as a sports reporter for the Edmonton Sun, where he covered the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.