The Edmonton Oilers can clinch a spot in their first NHL Western Conference Finals since 2006 tonight with a win in Game 5 of their conference semifinal in Calgary. Oilers star Evander Kane didn't originally travel with the club because his girlfriend gave birth but is expected to be in the lineup. Edmonton is a +130 underdog at Caesars Sportsbook despite winning the past three against the Flames.
Kane's girlfriend, model Mara Teigen, gave birth to Iverson Frank Kane, according to Kane's agent Dan Milstein. Kane understandably didn't travel with the club to Calgary on Wednesday, but it's a short flight there from Edmonton.
The Oilers signed Kane off waivers during the season, and he has been spectacular with an NHL-leading 12 playoff goals and is third with 15 points behind teammates Connor McDavid (25) and Leon Draisaitl (22). Kane is the first NHL player with 12 or more goals through 11 games in a playoff year since 2008. Every goal Kane has scored has come in a multi-goal game. His shooting percentage is an absurd 26.1 percent on 46 shots. Over the past 25 years, only two players have scored 15 goals in one postseason: Sidney Crosby (2009) and Alex Ovechkin (2018).
The NHL record for most goals in a postseason is 19 by Jari Kurri with Edmonton in 1985 and Reggie Leach with Philadelphia in 1976. Kane is still a +5000 longer shot to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite his scoring exploits.
Kane is surprisingly only a +190 sixth-favorite for a goal tonight behind McDavid (+135), Draisaitl (+145) and Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk (+165), Elias Lindholm (+170) and Johnny Gaudreau (+180). The Flames are averaging 2.33 goals in the past three after scoring nine in Game 1.
Calgary is looking to win a series when trailing 3-1 for the second time in franchise history. Should the Flames pull it off, they would become the second team this postseason to accomplish the feat after the Rangers did so in the first round against Pittsburgh. The last time multiple teams overcame a 3-1 deficit in the same playoff year was 2014. The Flames are 18-12 all-time in the fifth game of a series. They are 1-0 in elimination games in these playoffs, winning 3-2 at home in OT Round 1 vs. Dallas.
NHL free pick: Flames -150
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