The Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome on Wednesday night. But because it’s the pre-season, the Flames iced most of their regulars while the visitors brought the Bakersfield bunch, bereft of much starpower.
Faced with an out-manned Oilers opposition, the Flames summarily out-played and out-worked them, as you would expect them to, en route to a 4-0 exhibition victory.
Who was playing?
As they did Sunday against Vancouver, the Flames sent a fairly NHL-ready lineup out against a visiting Oilers squad that most closely resembled the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL:
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm [A] – Tyler Toffoli
Mikael Backlund [A] – Nazem Kadri – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Kevin Rooney – Trevor Lewis
Brett Sutter – Clark Bishop – Mitch McLain
Noah Hanifin – Rasmus Andersson
Nikita Zadorov – MacKenzie Weegar
Ilya Solovyov – Michael Stone
Jacob Markstrom started for the Flames, backed up by Dustin Wolf. Markstrom played the first two periods (making 12 saves), while Wolf mopped up in the third period (making nine saves).
How did they do?
The Flames carried play for much of the game. They out-shot the Oilers handily in the first period, including a pretty impressive stretch for the new-look first power play unit where they cycled but couldn’t quite score.
The home side broke through in the second period. After a Flames power play, they kept at it after the fourth line jumped onto the ice. Michael Stone’s shot from the right point was stopped by Calvin Pickard, but Brett Sutter, parked right out front, jammed in the rebound to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Late in the period, the depth Flames cashed in again. An odd-man rush for Clark Bishop and Mitch McLain didn’t quite pan out, but the Flames kept the puck and kept getting it back after firing at the net. Eventually in all this confusion, a Stone blast from the right point beat Stuart Skinner to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
MacKenzie Weegar made it 3-0 late in regulation, beating Skinner blocker-side after receiving a smooth pass from Nazem Kadri after entering the zone as the trailing man at the point.
Jonathan Huberdeau added an empty-netter to cement this one as a 4-0 Flames victory.
Who looked good?
For the home side, this game was all about getting everybody some reps – they rolled their lines, they rolled their pairings, they used both sides of special teams a decent amount. They were playing a team that they should have been able to out-play, and they performed as expected.
The fourth line for the Flames was quite noticeable throughout, throwing their bodies around and generally mucking around quite well. For a line comprised of two guys on AHL deals (Sutter, McLain) and a tweener (Bishop), it was a good outing.
This and that
The Flames are back in pre-season action on Friday night when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.