The Calgary Flames are going to be without veteran defenceman Chris Tanev for Game 2 of the Battle of Alberta against the Edmonton Oilers.
At least, that’s how it looked Friday morning.
Tanev took twirls in a pair with black ace Connor Mackey at morning skate, indicating that the 32-year-old will miss his third straight game. That’ll leave the regular pairings of Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin and Erik Gudbranson and Nikita Zadorov, and Michael Stone in Tanev’s spot with Oliver Kylington.
“We haven’t given up much, which is important,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “Even though it was a high-scoring game last game, we gave up 12 scoring chances. That tells you the efficiency of the group. We have to try and be like that again.
“I think the big difference in the two defences is, Oilers have twice as much experience on the back end in terms of playoffs. It’s like 350 to 170, or something that like. It’s a big difference. We’re getting experience as we go where they’ve got it. There’s a big difference when you look at it. That’s part of playoffs. That’s part of making it to going through the first round to getting into the next round. Experience is a big part of that.”
Calgary leads the best-of-seven series 1-0 thanks to a rollercoaster, up-and-down 9-6 win in Game 1 in the highest-scoring Battle of Alberta playoff game ever.
Tanev would’ve helped stifle some of that offence.
He has averaged 19:11 through six playoff games this season, skating to an even rating, and was third on the team in ice time in the regular season with an average of 20:28 — registering a +35 rating, tops amongst blueliners on the team.
Here’s how the Flames could line up in Game 2 against the Oilers:
Johnny Gaudreau — Elias Lindholm — Matthew Tkachuk
Andrew Mangiapane — Mikael Backlund — Blake Coleman
Dillon Dube — Calle Jarnkrok — Tyler Toffoli
Milan Lucic — Trevor Lewis — Brett Ritchie
Noah Hanifin — Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington — Michael Stone
Nikita Zadorov — Erik Gudbranson
The Flames found some success with this configuration against the Oilers in Game 1, with Ritchie, who has been a frequent healthy scratch in the playoffs, scoring in the opener of the Battle of Alberta.