Mike Smith It was only half an hour away from closing the doors. Calgary Flames On Sunday, Edmonton hosted Game 3 of the second round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Then, it was Milan Lucic.
Calgary trailed by 4-0 halfway through the third period. Lucic crashed into Smith while Smith was playing the puck behind Edmonton’s goal.
Smith was so badly injured by the collision that NHL concussion spotters had to take him out of the game for evaluation. Smith was clearly upset about the decision and tried to argue with the referees for his continued presence in the crease. Smith was eventually replaced by backup Mikko Koskinen.
Lucic received a five minute penalty for charging and a game misconduct — an instant ejection — in exchange for his involvement in the incident. The Flames eventually won the game. 4-1 lossDarryl Sutter, Calgary coach said that Lucic made a genuine effort to soften the blow.
“They called [it a penalty for] charging, correct? Can you imagine if Looch did charge?” Sutter stated. “What would've happened? He did try to slow it down a bit, I think. But it's what it was, it's the score. [being 4-0] It was who it was, and that's what they called.”
Smith admittedly was confused as to how the play was evaluated.
He stated that he didn't think his head had hit anything. “My helmet was ripped off but I didn’t get hurt in my head. I had no idea what had happened. I was playing with the puck, and next thing I know, my feet are buried under the boards.”
After a difficult start to the Battle of Alberta, Smith was back in his element. Smith was pulled from Game 1, after allowing three goals in nine shots in a loss to the Oilers. Smith bounced back well with a 37-save performance in Game 2's victory, and had already made 28 saves on Sunday before being removed.
Koskinen lasted only 4:19 and didn’t face a single shot before Smith was given a standing ovation. However, he did concede one goal. Oliver KylingtonAfter coming back, he was otherwise pristine.
Smith's movement and coming might have sufficed to provide goalie drama on another night. Not so in Game 3. All four goalies of both teams were present by the end.
Calgary was the capital of Alberta at Smith's departure. Jacob Markstrom Had already been pulled after giving away four goals (all in the second period) on 34 shots (.882SV%). Flames backup Dan Vladar For the third, he was in net.
Markstrom has had a difficult series, allowing 11 goals in Games 1 and 2. (.838SV%). Markstrom's phenomenal regular season (.922SV%, 2.22 GAA) earned him the Vezina Trophy Finalist. In Game 3, he looked fantastic and made 21 stops.
However, Edmonton opened floodgates 52 seconds into the second half. Zach Hyman Was on the board at first, then Evander Kane In just six minutes, he was able to complete a natural hat trick. Leon Draisaitl Four points were scored on the night. Connor McDavid Three.
Jay Woodcroft, Oilers coach appeared to mock Sutter's handling of Markstrom in Game 3. He noted that Smith was injured during the regular season and Markstrom had played quite a bit of hockey.
Woodcroft stated, “Mike Smith only played 28 regular season games and 10 playoffs games.” He is 38 years old and in midseason form. He didn't play 63 games [during] Season and all that it brings.
Edmonton leads the best-of-7 series by a score of 2-1. Game 4 will be played on Tuesday.