It was an outstanding night at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday, and the result ended up being the right one for the home squad, a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers in round two of the Battle of Alberta. Jarome Iginla scored his first of the season on the powerplay with just over 12 minutes to go in the third period, and the Flames evened their record at 2-2 on the season.
Calgary fell behind early in a fired up building, thanks to a collision between Miikka Kiprusoff and Ian White; Ales Hemsky picked up the junk and scooted a puck in at 5:21 to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Things went back and forth from there, with Alex Tanguay converting a great feed from Matt Stajan to tie things up. The first frame saw Calgary outshoot the Oilers 10-5, but it was certainly misleading, with play very, very even.
The second period was very similar, with a ton of chances exchanged at both ends, and three goals scored. Dustin Penner’s goal to put Edmonton up 2-1 came 22 seconds into the period, and it came off the face of Ian White. White went to the bench, got stitched up, and returned to play later on in the period…the goal itselfhappened when Jarome Iginla was unable to clear the puck. It didn’t take long for Brendan Morrison to tie things up after a very odd sequence…Morrison took a bad penalty for boarding which lead to an Oilers powerplay. At the tail end, Kurtis Foster rang a shot off the post before the Flames went down the ice and tied things up; Morrison scored his first as a member of the Flames. But Magnus Paajarvi put the Oilers up 3-2 at 4:16 off a Jay Bouwmeester giveaway; after a review, the goal was good and Edmonton carried their one goal lead into the final frame.
Give Calgary credit, as they’d stuck with it for 40 minutes, generating chances and getting their opportunities. Nikolai Khabibulin was strong in net for the Oilers, but the Flames kept skating, and it paid dividends starting with Niklas Hagman’s second of the season at 4:29 of the third. Then on a powerplay, drawn thanks to strong skating and posession by Calgary, Iginla put the home side ahead for good. Alex Tanguay scored into an empty net late to ice a three point night.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? Because they actually did the things needed to generate offence. They weren’t overly strong in the defensive zone start to finish, but they did the things they needed from start to finish driving the play down the ice. Calgary dominated in the scoring chance count, and deserved to finally get something going in the final frame. Sure there’s still work to do, as there should be four games in, but at least we saw things done on a fairly consistent basis. After doing none of it on Thursday against Florida, it was good to see things happen on this night.
I was going to go with Alex Tanguay, but I’ve gotta go with my heart. Cory Sarich was outstanding on the blueline for the Flames, adding a much needed physical spark and not looking out of place at all in his 18:12 of ice time. The scoring chance data was even more impressive, with a 13-0 count at even strength to go along with Mark Giordano’s 11-2. Sarich certainly earned himself a spot Tuesday in Nashville, maybe beside T.J. Brodie?
Sum It Up
A much better effort and a deserved win for the Calgary Flames. They put 46 shots on the Oilers net and can at the very least have an all right feeling heading into Tuesday’s game against the Predators in Nashville. Granted, the Oilers are a little loose in their own end, and made some glaring mistakes, but the Flames win and let’s see if they can carry over anything into Tuesday.