An absolutely terrible evening saw the Calgary Flames fall 6-1 to the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at the Saddledome, a game that was ran by the visitors from start to finish. Even after scoring the first goal of the hockey game and being fortunate to be even after one period of play, the Flames let their provincial rivals go to town as the Oilers snapped a nine game losing streak to Calgary in the process.
You could tell things might not work their way right from the very get-go, as the Oilers had the balance of the scoring chances early on. However, it was the Flames opening the scoring at 9:12 thanks to Scott Hannan of all people. He’d whistle one past Devan Dubnyk from the point on a shot the Oilers goalie would likely like to have back. It was the Miikka Kiprusoff show in the opening frame and it looked like they might escape with a lead in a period they were outchanced 13-4. That was until Jordan Eberle made good on a great individual effort, finally getting the puck past Kiprusoff after the Flames goalie had made a couple saves. Things were tied 1-1 after one period.
The second period saw things explode in a bad way, as a month’s worth of fortunate bounces seemed to reverse on the Flames in the matter of one period. It started with Ales Hemsky’s goal on a two-on-one at 8:09, converting a great Taylor Hall pass and beating Kiprusoff. Chasing on the play was Chris Butler, and the Flames defenseman would crash hard into his net and goaltender and looked to get clipped by Kiprusoff’s skate. Butler wouldn’t return, and it sounds like he’ll be out beyond this game as well. At 12:21, Eric Belanger would score on another two-on-one, this time cleaning up a rebound off a Ben Eager shot for a two goal lead. 30 seconds later, Sam Gagner was given a wide open look at the right side of the Calgary net, and he took a perfect pass from Eberle and went roof for a 4-1 lead. Ryan Smyth’s 17th of the season at 18:56 sealed things after Calgary allowed the Oilers rush four into the offensive zone. In a period where the Flames had a chance to push back, they were outchanced 12-2.
The third period was a formality. Edmonton scored on the powerplay at 17:29, with Hall getting his 21st after a short review. Henrik Karlsson, who started the third period, made the save on a diving effort with the glove; unfortunately, he caught the puck six inches into his own net.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames lost? Well, they were absolutely terrible…that’s probably a good way to start. Give the Oilers credit, because they were full marks for this win, as they came to play. Even with Kiprusoff giving them every reason to get frustrated, they didn’t, and Edmonton kept pushing forward and finally broke through late in the first. Calgary, however, was awful start to finish and need to put this one behind them as quickly as they let it get away from them.
I’ll go Tim Jackman. Worked hard, threw some hits, wasn’t in the red in scoring chances…I’ll give him the nod.
Sum It Up
Let’s not forget, a 6-1 loss is only good for one game. The Flames don’t gain any ground on teams and fall out of the postseason, but putting too much stock into this one would be unwise if you’re them. That said, it was a pretty pitiful effort for a team that is right in the midst of a tight playoff race, especially against a top rival. The red hot Coyotes are in on Thursday night.