Calgary Flames finally win Battle of Alberta for first time in eight games

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 13: Milan Lucic
CALGARY, AB - MARCH 13: Milan Lucic /

The Calgary Flames finally win against the Edmonton Oilers for the first time in almost two years with a shutout performance from Mike Smith.

The Calgary Flames have finally won the Battle of Alberta! After losing seven in a row to their provincial rivals, they finally beat the Edmonton Oilers. The Flames have also won just two of their last 11 home games and need every win they could get right now.

Mike Smith put up an excellent performance, stopping all 28 shots he faced and recording his third shutout this season. After returning to the lineup last game and let in a couple of soft goals against the New York Islanders, he came back with a vengeance.

Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.

First period

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

The first period had lots of end-to-end action for both teams. It was quite a fast game with no whistle until a little before the five-minute mark where Travis Hamonic and Darnell Nurse took the Battle of Alberta literally. Beside the benches as Hamonic and former Flames Mike Cammalleri were somewhat getting into it, Nurse came in to defend Cammy and they both got into it.

Shortly after, the Oilers went on the powerplay but with some good penalty-killing by the Calgary Flames, the Oilers managed no shots and we’ve still got a 0-0 game.

The rest of the game was quite fast-paced. At one point, it seemed like Zack Kassian almost scored but as he basically pushed Mike Smith’s pad into the net trying to score, the ref immediately waived it off.

This game as quite evenly played, with the Oilers outshooting the Flames 11-10, they had nine scoring chances (5v5) compared to the Flames’ eight. Let’s head to the second period.

Second period

Some decent end-to-end action again for both teams to start this period off, but the Calgary Flames definitely had more of a jump. At one point, Connor McDavid was going the other way (uh oh) but Hamonic took the puck away from him. Wow, getting into a fight on Battle of Alberta night and taking a puck away from McDavid? He really has always been a Flame at heart.

Then the Flames were in the Oilers zone and with a sneaky play by Johnny Gaudreau who crept behind the players, Sean Monahan spots him and got the puck to him and Gaudreau got it past Cam Talbot. It’s 1-0 Calgary and a five-game point streak for Gaudreau with seven points now in those five games and his 80th point of the season.

The Flames had a couple powerplays in the period but no goals ensued. Soon after, the Flames took a penalty with a high-sticking call to Curtis Lazar. Things got #spicy out there with some scrums happening in the corner.

On the Oilers PP, the puck hit the ref, went right to an Oiler and Mike Smith made an excellent save. With the puck loose in the crease, the Flames managed to find it and clear the zone. It’s still a 1-0 game after that PP.

When the Oilers PP ended, they had lots of jump in their game and Smith had to be sharp again. But this period ended 1-0 for the Flames with them outshooting the Oilers 22-20.

Third period

The first note I had written for this period was: MIKE SMITH IS A BEAUTIFUL MAN. Smith made an excellent save on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to keep this a one-goal game. McDavid again got a chance but again, Mike Smith made another great save. This led to a scrum behind the Calgary Flames bench with Smith getting involved too. Things are getting spicy out there again! Maybe these guys have finally learned what the Battle of Alberta is.

Man, was this ever an intense period. The building was alive with chants and cheers for both teams going on. At one point, Dougie Hamilton was cross-checked in the neck by Leon Draisaitl and no call on the play but Dougie was down in the Flames zone. He was slow to get back up and went down the tunnel. He shortly returned and played a shift but went down the tunnel again.

Good news for Flames fans is that he returned and didn’t go back down the tunnel. But he and Draisaitl were chirping each other quite a bit throughout the rest of the game.

With less than two to go in the period, Dougie ended up taking a penalty so the Oilers would be on the powerplay for the remainder of the game. With me biting my nails the whole time and not being able to sit down, the Flames managed to get out of this one alive! Another great performance by Mike Smith and an overall good game by the Flames.

Next: Injury updates: Tkachuk out, Versteeg close

At this point, the out of town scoreboard was almost near perfect tonight as well, except for the dumb Minnesota Wild who couldn’t beat the dumb Colorado Avalanche. Thanks a lot, guys.