Sutter credits Oilers ahead of Game 5: 'Maybe our guys are doing all they can'

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For Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter, honesty was the best policy before his team's do-or-die Game 5 against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

"It's got nothing to do with effort or anything like that with any of our guys that haven't been as productive after Game 1 in this series," the hardnosed bench boss said, according to TSN. "But you have to give Edmonton credit in that too.

"Maybe our guys are doing all they can. Maybe Edmonton's just a little bit better right now. That's kind of been on the sideline. Nobody's talked about that. It's always been about the negatives. What about the good stuff that is going on?"

Star agitator Matthew Tkachuk sparkled in the opening contest of Round 2 and notched a hat trick during the Flames' high-powered 9-6 victory. Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane also chipped in with three-point nights of their own, while Elias Lindholm logged a goal and an assist.

The Flames' core forwards were relatively quiet in Games 2 through 4: Tkachuk had just one assist in their three straight losses, Gaudreau and Lindholm had two points each, and Mangiapane failed to register a point.

The Oilers outscored the Flames 14-to-7 over the past three contests and used that production to put Calgary into a 3-1 hole in the postseason Battle of Alberta.

"Every guy is really motivated in there, we know where we're at in the series," Gaudreau said before Game 5. "Take it one game at a time, have fun playing tonight in front of our fans here."

Edmonton phenom Connor McDavid expressed confidence in the Oilers' ability to equal the Flames' hunger to win.

"We're desperate to close the series out. That's how you match it," he said. "We want to come out and have a strong performance and play our best game of the series."

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Sutter credits Oilers ahead of Game 5: 'Maybe our guys are doing all they can'
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