Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames topple Oilers in action-packed Battle of Alberta

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
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Saturday night’s instalment of the Battle of Alberta was quite eventful. There were nice goals scored, by both teams. There were fights. And after 60 minutes of often chaotic action, the Calgary Flames skated to their first victory of the season over the Edmonton Oilers.
In their lone trip to Rogers Place this season, the Flames toppled the Oilers by a 6-3 score.

The rundown

The Flames were equal parts energetic and opportunistic early in this hockey game, and it led to several goals for the red team.
After an Oilers turnover in the neutral zone, Walker Duehr carried the puck into the offensive zone accompanied by Nazem Kadri. Deuhr passed the puck towards Kadri and Kadri made a nifty in-motion redirect, chipping the puck past Stuart Skinner’s glove hand to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the period, the Flames took advantage of an Oilers line change and the space it afforded them to generate another goal. Connor Zary carried the puck into the zone and threw it to Martin Pospisil, who beat Skinner high glove-side to make it 2-0 Flames.
The Flames had a first period power play and didn’t have much going on during it. The Oilers had a nice scoring chance at one end, with Leon Draisaitl’s shot being blocked by Yegor Sharangovich and then soaring wide of the Flames’ net. The play went the other way on a two-on-two rush. Mikael Backlund held onto the puck and waited for Noah Hanifin entering the offensive zone as the trailer. He accepted the pass from Backlund and fired it past Skinner to make it 3-0 Flames.
But on a late power play, with Rasmus Andersson in the box, the Oilers got on the board. The sequence itself was a bit odd. Leon Draisaitl drove the net and crashed into Dan Vladar on an aborted scoring chance. Vladar got up and the play continued, and Zach Hyman got a great chance in-close off a pass from Connor McDavid. Vladar made the initial save, but Hyman jammed in his own rebound to cut the Calgary lead to 3-1.
First period shots were 12-8 Flames (11-6 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 10-9 Oilers (high-dangers were 5-3 Flames).
The Oilers made a big push to open the second period, hemming the Flames in and getting several good looks. Eventually, they got another goal. Draisaitl made a nice pass at the Flames’ blueline, springing Hyman behind Andersson and MacKenzie Weegar on a breakaway. Hyman beat Vladar with a great shot to cut Calgary’s lead further to 3-2.
But the Flames answered back a little while later. Jonathan Huberdeau’s line hemmed the Oilers into their own end for a bit, cycling the puck, winning battles and keeping the play going. Eventually, Huberdeau passed the puck from behind the net to Dryden Hunt in the high slot. Hunt’s shot beat Skinner to give the Flames a 4-2 lead.
The Flames made it 5-2 on a power play later in the period. After an initial scoring chance, the Oilers attempted to clear but Andersson held the puck in at the blueline. A couple passes later – notably a beautiful pump-fake move by Zary – and Hanifin fired the puck past Skinner to pad the Flames’ lead.
Second period shots were 13-10 Oilers (11-4 Oilers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-3 Oilers (high-dangers were 4-0 Oilers).
The Oilers pressed at times in the third period, but playing their sixth period over two nights they seemed to run out of steam.
The Oilers pulled Skinner with 7:39 remaining in regulation, but Blake Coleman scored an empty-netter to make it 6-2 for the Flames.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins created a turnover in the Flames’ zone and Mattias Janmark fired the puck past Vladar in all the confusion, cutting Calgary’s lead to 6-3.
But that’s all the home side could muster and the Flames held on for a victory.
Third period shots were 14-9 Oilers (13-7 Oilers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 16-4 Oilers (8-2 Oilers at five-on-five).

Why the Flames won

Let’s call a spade a spade: the Oilers looked bad in the first period. But the Flames did a great job piling on ’em and making them look bad. The Flames took advantage of gaps in their defensive coverage and their strong start gave them enough of a cushion that they were able to weather the storms that came their way in the second and third periods.
The Flames were energetic, opportunistic and overall pretty good for most of this game. And when they weren’t great, they didn’t let those moments snowball on ’em.
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Red Warrior

Let’s give it to Hanifin. But man, a lot of players in red had strong outings.

Turning point

Hunt’s goal, giving the Flames a two-goal lead after the Oilers had whittled their multi-goal lead down to just one, was pretty huge for the red team.

This and that

The Flames and Oilers both wore their Heritage Classic jerseys for the third and final time this season.
Jakob Pelletier returned to the Flames’ lineup after missing four games with an upper body injury. He slotted in for Andrei Kuzmenko, who missed the game due to illness.
Blake Coleman and Mattias Janmark had a heck of a fight in the second period. Later in the period, MacKenzie Weegar and Corey Perry had a shoving match that the officials called a fight, but really wasn’t much of one.
Brayden Pachal had an assist on Pospisil’s goal, which was his first point with the Flames.

Up next

The Flames (28-25-5) are headed home. They’re back in action on Tuesday night when they host the Los Angeles Kings at the Saddledome.

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