Flames stay hot with 5-2 victory over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Calgary Flames are getting some offense from just about everyone right now.
Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over the rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
“It was a big win, for sure,” Backlund said. “It means a lot to the team. We’re showing strength in the third again. We found another way to win. It’s great to see the character in this room and everybody digs in and we’re finding ways to win.”
Oliver Kylington also scored for the Flames, who are 7-0-1 in their last eight games and 10-1-2 in their last 13.
“It’s about the two points each and every night,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “We’re hungry for points. We want to win and we know how to play. Sometimes we deviate a little bit, but we do know how to play and when we play the right way, we’re a good team.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, who had won back-to-back games before facing Calgary.
“They capitalized on their chances and we didn’t,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. “We didn’t generate too much. We didn’t really create too many chances for ourselves. We hung in there for a while, but you aren’t going to beat a team like that by playing half a game.”
With Calgary leading 3-1, Edmonton pulled within one with a power-play goal 4:16 into the third period when Lucic tipped Jesse Puljujarvi’s shot past David Rittich.
But the Flames regained their two-goal lead with 5:45 remaining when Backlund picked off a pass and scored his 11th.
Monahan added a power-play goal at the 16:03 mark to put the game away with his 27th of the season.
There was no scoring in the first period, although the Flames came close on the power play with 1:10 remaining. A shot by Gaudreau hit the post and then Mikko Koskinen’s back and was headed into the net before the Oilers goalie made an acrobatic behind-the-back save with his glove, a play that stood a video review.
Gaudreau broke the scoreless deadlock just 44 seconds into the second period as he swung wide before putting the puck through Koskinen’s legs for his 29th goal of the season and his 17th in his last 19 games.
Calgary took a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal in the middle of the period when Giordano smacked in a shot in during a scramble out front.
The Flames added to their lead late in the period on a one-timer by Kylington.
Edmonton finally got on the board with 18 seconds left in the second when Nugent-Hopkins scored his 16th while the teams were playing four aside.
NOTES: It was the third of four meetings this season between the Alberta-based rivals. Each team came in having won in its home arena, with the Flames beating the Oilers 4-2 in Calgary and Edmonton winning 1-0 at Rogers Place.
Flames: host Carolina on Tuesday night.
Oilers: host Carolina on Sunday night.