Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Flames Post-Game: Oilers edge Flames in spirited Battle of Alberta rematch
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
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The Calgary Flames welcomed the Edmonton Oilers to town in a rematch of the Battle of Alberta. In a razor-thin game that featured good performances on both sides, the Oilers scored twice in the third period to beat the Flames by a 3-2 score.
Neither team scored in the first period, as the first half featured some back and forth rushes here and there but generally pretty solid defending by both sides.
The Flames took consecutive penalties later in the period, though, and that allowed the Oilers to gain some momentum on the power play. But Jacob Markstrom was sharp and kept the game tied at 0-0. (The Oilers also hit a post and a cross-bar, but the bottom line is the puck stayed out.)
First period shots were 8-7 Oilers (6-5 Oilers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 7-7 (high-danger chances were 4-3 Flames).
The second period featured more action all-around, from both sides.
The Flames opened the scoring shorthanded. Blake Coleman took a minor penalty and on the ensuing advantage, Elias Lindholm bonked a puck past Tyson Barrie at the Flames blueline. Mikael Backlund wooshed in, grabbed the loose puck, and beat Stuart Skinner low glove-side (short-side) on the breakaway to give the Flames a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into the Coleman minor.
But 33 seconds later, with Coleman still in the box, the Oilers tied things up. Backlund got another chance in the Oilers end, but opted to pass to Lindholm. Lindholm’s shot was stopped and the Oilers went the other way. A nice passing sequence was broken up by a diving Noah Hanifin, but his stick deflected Zach Hyman’s pass to Leon Draisaitl into the net behind Markstrom instead. Whoops. Hyman got credit for the goal and it was a 1-1 hockey game.
Later in the period, the Flames retook the lead off a nice bit of puck retrieval. MacKenzie Weegar dumped the puck into the Oilers’ zone. Milan Lucic gave chase behind the net, winning a battle and nudging the puck into the net-front area for Brett Ritchie. Ritchie jammed the puck past Skinner to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
Second period shots were 21-12 Flames (18-7 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 12-8 Flames (high-dangers were 6-1 Flames).
The third period was pretty even, but a bit of a blooper tied the game up. Cody Ceci dumped the puck into the Flames zone, off the glass, and Markstrom went behind the net to play the puck. The puck got past him, going to the other side of the zone where Connor McDavid collected it and fired it towards the net. Markstrom slid into the crease and somehow missed the routine wrister – he definitely didn’t have a sense of his net – and that tied the game up at 2-2.
The Oilers took the lead later on off a nice bit of puck retrieval and disruption. The Oilers chucked the puck into the Flames zone. The Flames collected the dump-in and started a passing sequence from behind the net, but Hyman got his stick in the way and glanced the puck towards the net-front area for McDavid. McDavid made a no-look back pass back to Hyman that glanced off his skate and beat Markstrom to give the Oilers a 3-2 lead.
The Oilers held on to win 3-2, with the visitors defending some good chances from the Flames as the clock wound down.
Third period shots were 14-5 Flames (all at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 9-8 Flames (high-danger chances were 4-3 Flames).
Why the Flames lost
This was a really tight, close, good game and this was a game that could’ve gone either way. But the Oilers’ top guys were just a little bit better than the Flames’ top guys when the game was up for grabs.
Let’s go with Lindholm. He made a really nice play to spring Backlund for the opening goal. He played a lot, played against top guys, and managed to win most of his draws, too.
The Flames had a one goal lead and looked pretty strong in the third, but McDavid’s tying goal seemed to upend the Flames’ game plan. They just didn’t have enough offensive oomph left to get back into it.
Percentage stats are 5v5 and via Natural Stat Trick. Game score via Hockey Stat Cards.
This and that
Prior to the game, good guy Leon Draisaitl gave a stick to a visiting fan from Germany after warm-ups.
Jonathan Huberdeau missed a couple shifts in the first period, but returned and finished the game. When asked why Huberdeau left the bench, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had a colourful response.
The Flames briefly shuffled their lines up in the second period, but they returned to their status quo trios before the end of the period.
The Flames (5-2-0) are back at it on Tuesday night when they host the Seattle Kraken.
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