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Flames chase Oilers goalie Mike Smith after 6 minutes in nightmare start

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Everyone was ready for Game 1 of the Battle of Alberta on Wednesday night except Edmonton Oilers starting goalie Mike Smith. The first game of the highly anticipated series started off as a nightmare for the veteran netminder.

Smith couldn’t handle the heat brought by the Calgary Flames and was pulled from the game after letting in three goals in six minutes on just 10 shots.

The Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Oilers didn't start the way Mike Smith would have hoped. (Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports)
The Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Oilers didn't start the way Mike Smith would have hoped. (Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports)

Elias Lindholm got the Flames on the board 26 seconds into the contest, then Andrew Mangiapane beat Smith again 25 seconds later.

The Oilers tried to settle things down by burning their one and only timeout before the game was even a minute old, and opted to keep Smith between the pipes.

It turned out the short pause didn’t work for the 40-year-old goalie. Just over five minutes later, he was beaten by Brett Ritchie, which prompted Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft to replace him with Mikko Koskinen, who was seeing his first playoff action of the postseason.

After putting up an embarrassing .700 save percentage and getting the early hook, fans predictably roasted Smith for his performance.

It hasn't been all bad for Smith this spring, as he played each game in Round 1 against the Los Angeles Kings, earning two shutouts along the way, including in Game 7. He entered Game 1 against the Flames with a .938 save percentage for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, things didn't go much better in the Flames' crease as Jacob Markstrom and Calgary watched a 5-1 advantage morph into a 6-6 game early in the third period. But the Flames quickly responded with three unanswered goals to avoid a monumental collapse and emerge with a wild 9-6 victory.

If Game 1 was any indication, the Battle of Alberta is going to be can't-miss hockey.

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