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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Flames let one slip away against Oilers

The Calgary Flames were the better team for half of their pre-season game with the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. But they were decidedly not good for the other half, leading to a 6-2 exhibition setback at Rogers Place.

The rundown

The Oilers got an early lead after the Flames got hemmed in their own end. A shot through traffic was deflected by Alex Chiasson past David Rittich to make it 1-0 Oilers.

But the Flames managed to even it up off a pretty smart play from Michael Stone. Stone pinched and put a low shot on Mikko Koskinen from a low angle. That shot deflected off Koskinen right to Sam Bennett on the door-step for a simple rebound goal that made it 1-1.

The Flames took the lead a little awhile later, as Zac Rinaldo fed Ryan Lomberg for a tap-in on a two-on-one rush to make it 2-1.

Shots were 9-6 Flames in the first period.

The Flames held sway in this game until roughly midway through the second period. They swapped goalies, having Jon Gillies replace Rittich. They also had an unsuccessful five-on-three and then things fell apart as Gillies allowed two goals in 130 seconds.

  • The first was a shorthanded goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the Flames’ PP stood around and watched him put one top shelf.
  • The next was a softie by Joakim Nygard, as Gillies couldn’t close off the inside post.

All of a sudden, it was 3-2 Edmonton. Shots were 9-8 Oilers in the second period.

The Oilers piled on a bit in the third period as the Flames got jumpy and sloppy in front of Gillies. With Travis Hamonic in the penalty box, Zach Kassian beat Gillies with a shot that glanced off his glove to make it 4-2. Later on, an odd-man rush saw Sam Gagner feed Leon Draisaitl for a shot that beat him glove-side to make it 5-2. A weird Gagner bounce off Hamonic’s leg made it 6-2 late in the period.

Why the Flames lost

There were three interconnected challenges here:

  1. The Flames couldn’t do squat on the power play.
  2. Jon Gillies couldn’t make a save when the game was in the balance.
  3. As a result, the skaters in front of Gillies got jumpy and played too tight, leading to mistakes and more scoring chances.

Red warrior

Bennett was superb, leading the team with four shots.

This and that

Gillies had a rough night and has had a rough September.

Up next

The Flames are back on the practice ice tomorrow. They head to Winnipeg to play the Jets in pre-season action on Sunday night.