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r playoff puck possession r

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EDMONTON -- Jiri Hudler didnt go with the entire Calgary Flames team when they flew into Edmonton on Friday night, but they were certainly glad he caught up with them by game time on Saturday. Hudler scored 3:14 into overtime as the Flames avoided joining Edmonton in the Western Conference basement, defeating the Oilers 2-1. There was a hectic end to an otherwise rather sedate affair. Edmonton tied the game with 10.1 seconds left to spoil rookie goalie Reto Berras bid at his first career shutout. With their own goalie pulled, Oiler David Perron was able to send the puck behind the Calgary goalie from the side of the goal to Taylor Hall, who shovelled it into a wide-open net. The Flames got their revenge in extra time as a shot from the point ticked off the stick of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and past defender Justin Schultz to Hudler on the doorstep, who potted his eighth of the year. The Flames centre wasnt originally going to play in the game. "I didnt travel with the team last night because I felt a little sick and they didnt want me on the plane because its going around, so we didnt want to get many guys exposed," Hudler said. "I got up this morning and I talked to the trainers and we booked a flight after lunch. We werent sure, but if Im travelling I want to play." Flames coach Bob Hartley said it was fitting Hudler got them over the final hurdle. "Jiri deserves lots of credit, he was sick, he left the game last night and went home sick," he said. "He was sick all night and flew in this afternoon and it was a gutsy effort." Lee Stempniak scored in regulation for the Flames (11-14-4) who have won three of their last four games. "I was very, very impressed with our team," Hartley said. "We battled for 60-plus minutes. Even when they got the tying goal, I could feel the disappointment on the bench, but I told them, we played so good, just keep going." Berra earned his fourth career win with a 30-save performance. "Im really happy that we had the win," he said. "It was really close and right after the goal youre frustrated, especially as the goalie. But you have no time to think about that or to be frustrated, the next shot is the most important. Im happy because I think I did well, they had two or three good chances in OT. I felt I was good on the puck and square and it was a good feeling for the whole team that we won this one. The Oilers (10-18-3) continue to have trouble gaining much traction at home, slipping to 4-9-1 at Rexall Place. "It was not the best effort from us," Hall said. "It was nice to score that goal late. It was a huge rush and a boost for the team to send it into overtime. They got a bounce in overtime and put it in. They played their system well and it seemed like they were just waiting for us to turn over pucks and unfortunately we kept doing that." Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said the constant turnovers his team made were the difference between a 2-1 loss on Saturday and an 8-2 win over Colorado on Thursday. "It was disappointing in that regard," he said. "It was almost like we couldnt help ourselves with our turnovers. "Sometimes when you get eight in a game, it starts to seep into your game that you think you are going to have your way every shift." It took 16 minutes before the games first goal. Edmonton coughed up the puck at the Flames blueline and Oilers defender Andrew Ference got pinched against the boards to allow a two-on-one break, with Stempniak opting to shoot it himself to beat goalie Devan Dubnyk with a high shot glove-side. It was Stempniaks sixth goal of the season. The Oilers came close to tying it with just six seconds left in the first, but a power play shot by Perron hit the post behind Berra. Much of the first-period play favoured Edmonton, as the Oilers outshot Calgary 12-6. The Flames had a three-on-one break five minutes into the second period, but Dubnyk was able to come across in time to make a pad save on Lance Buoma. Berra had to be sharp to keep it scoreless in the second as the Oilers were buzzing late in the period and Ales Hemsky redirected a Ference shot while on his knees in the slot that the Flames goalie was quick to get across and stop. The shots closed to 22-16 for Edmonton after 40 minutes. Both teams are off until Tuesday when the Oilers will play the fourth game of a five-game homestand against Carolina, while the Flames return home to entertain Boston. Notes: It was the second of five games between the provincial rivals this season. Edmonton won the first match-up 4-2 on Nov. 16, after trailing 2-0 after 40 minutesa Defenceman Jeff Petry made his return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch during the Oilers 8-2 win over Colorado on Thursday. Corey Potter came out to make room. However, Petry left the game early in the second period and did not return after being hammered into the post between the boards and the bench by David Jonesa Former Oiler defenceman Ladislav Smid made his first return to Edmonton since a rare trade between the two teams that sent him to the Flames earlier this season. The Oilers picked up prospects Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit. Smid played seven seasons in Edmontona The injury-riddled Flames had some good news when centre Joe Colborne returned to the lineup after missing Fridays loss to the Avalanche with the flu. Winger Brian McGratton also came back from a lower body injurya The Flames remained without forwards Curtis Glencross (knee) and TJ Galiardi (back spasms), centre Sean Hudle (fractured foot) and defenceman Dennis Wideman (fractured hand)a Edmonton was still without face-off specialist Boyd Gordon (shoulder), goalies Ilya Bryzgalov (concussion/whiplash symptoms) and Richard Bachman (lower body) and forward Tyler Pitlick (knee). [url=http://www.senatorsauthority.com/authen ... rs-jersey/]Tom Pyatt Jersey[/url] . Hall had a goal and three assists in a 5-4 loss to San Jose on Tuesday, had an assist in each of Edmontons next two games the capped the week with a goal and two assists in the Oilers 4-2 win over Anaheim on Sunday. [url=http://www.senatorsauthority.com/authen ... rs-jersey/]Zack Smith Jersey[/url] . Braves reliever David Carpenter was also fined for throwing at Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson in the same game, which featured several ejections, including Colorado manager Walt Weiss. http://www.senatorsauthority.com/authen ... rs-jersey/. That was OK with him. He was just happy his team came away with two points. Letestu redirected Jack Johnsons shot from the point with 2:38 left, lifting the Blue Jackets past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Monday night. [url=http://www.senatorsauthority.com/authen ... rs-jersey/]Ben Harpur Jersey[/url] . - Titans quarterback Jake Locker will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, leaving Tennessee trying to rally with Ryan Fitzpatrick. [url=http://www.senatorsauthority.com/authen ... rs-jersey/]Nate Thompson Jersey[/url] . -- The taxing preseason, which included two games in China, is finally over.Throughout the NHL playoffs, I have forecasted each round simply by using shots on goal and goaltender save percentage to come up with a baseline for the series. Its not intended to be some magical formula and doesnt apply any context, like, for example, taking injuries into account. This remedial statistical method has gone 9-5 in picks through the first three rounds. Heres a quick look at the five series that went the wrong way: In the first round, Columbus came in ahead of Pittsburgh, though that required Sergei Bobrovsky to perform better than Marc-Andre Fleury (not an impossibility given Fleurys playoff track record), but Fleury and Bobrovsky each had a .908 save percentage in Round One and Pittsburgh dominated puck possession to an extent that they did not during the regular season. Minnesota upended Colorado, in Game Seven overtime, which wasnt altogether surprising. I would have easily been able to talk myself into the upset had the Wild not gone into the series with Ilya Bryzgalov as their starting goaltender, because the Wild were a superior possession team. Darcy Kuemper returned for four games and helped tilt the series back in Minnesotas favour and Semyon Varlamov, whose regular-season play fueled the Avalanches top seed finish, was only okay in the postseason, posting a .913 save percentage in seven games. The touchiest series for this years playoffs was the San Jose-Los Angeles matchup in Round One. The forecast had the Sharks favoured by the slimmest of margins (18.15 expected goals to 18.09 expected goals) and, when they had a 3-0 series lead, that coin flip looked to be falling the right way. We know how that has turned out since that point. In the second round, the Boston Bruins were favoured over the Montreal Canadiens, and while the Bruins controlled large portions of the series, they couldnt solve Carey Price, who had a .936 save percentage in the seven-game upset. Then, in the Conference Finals, the forecast put the Chicago Blackhawks over the Los Angeles Kings, due to a goaltending advantage, because Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick hasnt been great in this years playoffs. After what was a sensational series, it was safe to say that neither team held a goaltending advantage -- both Quick and Corey Crawford struggled -- and the Kings took Game Seven in OT. So, those misses are on the record as we head into the Stanley Cup Final. The expected goals for each team in the series are determined by taking each teams shots for and against over the course of the season, as well as through the first round of the playoffs, and splitting the difference. So, for example, the New York Rangers, over the regular season and playoffs have averaged 32.4 shots on goal per game and the Los Angeles Kings have allowed 27.0 shots on goal per game; the average of those two numbers, 29.70 shots, is the number that is thenn multiplied by (1 - the opposing goaltenders save percentage) to determine an expected goals per game for the Rangers.dddddddddddd Finally, the number is multiplied by seven to indicate an expected goal total for a seven-game series. Theres no guarantee that scoring more goals in a series will result in winning four games first, but the odds certainly favour the team that scores more. So, lets see how the numbers shake out for the Final: Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Los Angeles 31.5 27.0 Jonathan Quick 0.912 16.54 N.Y. Rangers 32.4 29.1 Henrik Lundqvist 0.922 18.30 Verdict: While the Kings and Rangers are very similar in their playoff puck possession rates, the Kings were tops in the league during the regular season and ran through a more difficult gauntlet in the Western Conference to reach the Cup Final. The difference in shot rates during the regular season is pretty small, however, with the Kings earning 54.7% of the shots as the Rangers earned 53.0% of the total shots. Over the course of a game, that amounts to about one extra shot on goal; hardly the kind of difference that couldnt be overcome by better goaltending. Which brings us to the advantage to which the Rangers will cling. Lundqvist has been one of the games top goaltenders since coming into the league in 2005-2006, and is performing at a high level in this years playoffs as well, so couldnt he stop an extra shot or two per game? At the other end, Jonathan Quick has traditionally been a very good playoff goaltender in his own right, but his .906 save percentage this year has dropped Quicks all-time playoff save percentage to .922, falling fractionally behind Lundqvist. Certainly, some of the blame for this seasons save percentage can be attributed to the calibre of teams that the Kings have faced on their way to the Cup Final, with San Jose (sixth), Anaheim (first) and Chicago (second) all among the top-scoring teams in the league this season. By comparison, the Rangers got through Philadelphia (eighth), Pittsburgh (fifth) and Montreal (21st), so there is some quality of competition favouring Quick. It would be an upset if the Rangers won the series but a seven-game series, if otherwise close, can easily be decided by goaltending and, right now, its not unreasonable to hold higher expectations for Lundqvist. Lets see if King Henrik can get the job done. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy Sports on Facebook. 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