The Calgary Flames have finally won their first game at Rogers Place against the Edmonton Oilers in the third edition of the Battle of Alberta.
They finally did it! The Calgary Flames have finally won a game at Rogers Place since this became the new home arena for the Edmonton Oilers to start the 2016-17 season. The Flames now have points in eight straight games and continue to lead the Western Conference with 69 points.
Some other great milestones happened tonight. Johnny Gaudreau reached an 11-game point streak, a career-high. He has 23 points in those 11 games. With David Perron not recording a point tonight, Gaudreau now has the longest active point streak in the NHL.
Mikael Backlund also reached 300 points with two points tonight. Mark Giordano also reached the 50-point mark tonight, becoming the fifth Flame this season to reach that. The Calgary Flames are the only team with five players who have over 50 points. Only three other teams have three players with over 50 points.
Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.
The first few minutes didn’t see a whole lot of action between the two teams. The best chance came after the Oilers had a chance in the offensive zone to which Johnny Gaudreau found the puck and sprung Sean Monahan on a partial breakaway. He couldn’t get a great shot on so was forced to go n the backhand, but it was stopped.
A few minutes later, Zack Kassian looked like he was going to shoot and fooled David Rittich, instead, he got it back to Tobias Rieder. Reider basically had an open net but he shot it wide. Right after, the Calgary Flames went on the powerplay.
On that PP, the Flames second unit started and while they had some decent chances, it went scoreless. Right after they killed it off, the Oilers went on the PP. During that PP, they had too many men on the ice so it was 4on4 for about 18 seconds before the Flames got another powerplay.
On that PP, the Flames had some decent chances but couldn’t get it past Mikko Koskinen, so this one went scoreless. This period finished scoreless with the Flames outshooting the Oilers 14-6, but overall at 5v5, it was quite an evenly-played game.
Early in the period, Connor McDavid had a good chance on Rittich but he missed the net. The Calgary Flames went the other way and Gaudreau had the puck, somewhat faked, and shot it to get it past Koskinen’s five-hole for the first lead of the game. Mark Giordano had the secondary assist on that goal, now becoming the fifth Flame to reach 50 points this season.
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Shortly after that goal, the Flames took a double-minor, so they would be shorthanded for four minutes. They managed to do a decent job of not allowing the Oilers to get many scoring chances and only managed two shots in the almost full four minutes. However, the Oilers took a penalty so we saw some 4on4 action for a little before the Flames went on the powerplay.
On that powerplay, one that’s been quite good for the Flames, Giordano rushed up on the play. Monahan attempted to put the puck past Koskinen. As Koskinen is laying on the ice after trying to stop the puck, Gio found the puck, lifted it up, and got it past him for the 2-0 lead. The Oilers challenged for goaltender interference, but after a very quick review by the officials, they determined there was no interference, so the Oilers lost their timeout.
Shortly after that goal, we saw some more 4on4 action but it went scoreless. A couple minutes after that ended, Gaudreau took a penalty, one he argued, because why not. On that penalty kill, the Flames again did a good job of limiting the Oilers to just one shot, but the Oilers managed a couple of scoring chances. However, this one went scoreless.
Quickly after it went back to 5on5, Oliver Kylington rushed into the play to snap a quick one past Koskinen’s five-hole to give the Flames the 3-0 lead. That three-goal lead didn’t last too long because, with about 18 seconds left in the period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shot it over Rittich’s short side to cut the lead to two.
This period finished 3-1 for the Flames with the shots even, but the Oilers having the edge at 5v5 and even-strength.
Early in the period, TJ Brodie took a penalty, so that’s another Oilers powerplay. Right after the initial faceoff on the PK, Mark Jankowski went down the ice with the puck, but the Oilers defender didn’t let him get a good shot on, so the Oilers went back the other way. Shortly after that attempt, Derek Ryan was fed on a shorthanded breakaway but Koskinen came up big to keep this a two-goal game.
That ended up being a BIG save for Koskinen because right after, Jesse Puljujarvi shot it from the point and with a tip from Milan Lucic, this was a one-goal game. Quickly after that goal, the Flames went on the powerplay. They put up some great zone time and pressure but unfortunately couldn’t get it past Koskinen. Tyler Brodziak also managed to get a slight breakaway shorthanded, but he was slashed on the way, so the PP was over and we saw some 4on4 before the Oilers went on the PP. On that 4on4, Gaudreau was fed on a breakaway and put a great shot, but it went high and wide.
Once the Oilers went on the PP, they had decent zone time and good chances, but Rittich came up big to keep this a one-goal game. Shortly after the Flames penalty was killed, the Oilers took a penalty. There’s a lot going on in this game, clearly.
On that PP, the Oilers penalty-killers did a good job of keeping the Flames outside of the perimeter and they couldn’t get any good scoring chances.
The next few minutes were somewhat mild (thank goodness, I couldn’t keep up) with both teams basically taking turns at sending the puck into the zone.
With under six minutes to go, Caleb Jones turned the puck over to Mikael Backlund in his own zone, Backlund wristed one post and in. That’s Backlund’s 300th point of his career! Shortly after, the Oilers took a penalty, so the Flames went on their seventh powerplay of the game.
On that PP, the Flames top unit went to work. Matthew Tkachuk passed the puck from behind the net over to Monahan right in front of Koskinen, Koskinen stopped the first one and Monahan got the rebound for the 5-2 lead.
This game finished 5-2 for the Calgary Flames, and while they won by a three-goal margin, they didn’t have the best game. It was a fun game and a fun weekend with eight different goal-scorers on 11 goals, but their 5v5 game tonight wasn’t as sharp as it should have been.
Oh well, I’m not going to nit-pick at this point because all that matters is the two points.