Recap via The Sports Network:
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Lee Stempniak completed his second career hat trick and added an assist as the Calgary Flames thumped the Edmonton Oilers, 6-2, at Rexall Place.
According to CBC play-by-play man Mark Lee, he had a conversation with Steve Tambellini Friday night. During the broadcast of the Oilers - Sharks Hockey Night in Canada game, Lee told the audience that Tambellini said he "…thinks they’ve got all of the pieces here to make a run at the playoffs."
Blake Comeau finished with a goal and two assists, while Jay Bouwmeester and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames, who have won two straight and five of their last seven. Miikka Kiprusoff made 21 saves in the victory.
"I’m not going to put a number on it. I want to finish as high as possible," he said. "Again, I don’t want a lottery pick."
"It feels great," Stempniak said of his four-point performance. "I was just the recipient of a couple good plays. It's nice to be on the receiving end of those." Calgary has also won nine consecutive games and 18 of the last 21 matchups with the Oilers.
We have a wonderful opportunity here to do things right.
Ryan Smyth contributed a goal and an assist and Andy Sutton scored.
And we have a wonderful opportunity here to do that. A wonderful opportunity. I'm truly excited about that.
Nikolai Khabibulin was tagged for four goals on just 16 shots and backup Devan Dubnyk gave up one goal on six shots in relief. Edmonton has lost three straight and eight of its last nine contests.
...but when we saw our probably our MVP or that was going to be our MVP, Nik Khabibulin...
Calgary came out of the gate on fire, netting three goals in the opening 20 minutes. The first goal of the period came at the 6:48 mark as a result of some good work down low in the offensive zone. Two Flames went in on the forecheck down low and worked the puck out to Mark Giordano at the left point. The big defenseman fired a hard shot that was stopped by Khabibulin, but the rebound made it all the way out to Backlund, who ripped the twine from the right circle.
We saw this year, with the fact that I don't have to talk about injuries
Goal number two of the period occurred off a neutral zone turnover that sent the Flames into the offensive zone on a 3-on-2 rush, led by Comeau. He stopped at the left circle and fired a hard slap shot into the net.
and we can talk about that maybe a little bit later.
Stempniak picked up his first goal of the game with 1:08 left in the first when he accepted a nice drop pass from Bouwmeester and fired it into the net from the left circle.
"I don’t want to use this is a cop-out, but we’ve missed (Ryan) Whitney, (Andy) Sutton, (Cam) Barker and (Corey) Potter for a great time of the season,"
The Flames kept the momentum going in the second period, striking again at 19:24 to make it 4-0. Stempniak jumped on a loose puck just inside the blue and had plenty of space to work his way to the right circle before pulling off a perfect curl-and-drag wrister that beat Khabibulin through the five hole.
Some of the goal scoring may have to do with missing some of the defencemen.
Edmonton finally got on the board at 4:24 of the third period when Sutton blasted one past a screened Kiprusoff from the left circle to make it 4-1, but Bouwmeester answered with a power-play goal less than three minutes later to make it 5-1 on a well-placed point shot that just slipped over the line behind Dubnyk.
You sit back and you think about "Okay, let's see if we have some depth, let's see if we have the people that have been vying for jobs have been trying to demonstrate to coaches that they can take up the slack and there's opportunity."
Smyth pulled the Oilers within 5-2 at 16:15 of the third period on a prefect deflection off a point shot from Jeff Petry, but Stempniak erased all hope of a comeback with an empty-netter at 17:55 to put the Oilers away.
"Do I want to be a lottery pick again? No. I’ve said that from the beginning"
"We tried, but we didn't try very smart," Oilers head coach Tom Renney said of his team's effort. "Calgary stayed disiplined and stayed within their structure and we needed to match that and play the way we need to play to have success. We didn't do that."
You sit back and watch that and it becomes pretty clear. You know, it's fact that we finished 30th in the league.
Calgary improved to a perfect 4-0 this season against the Oilers..The Flames improved to 15-0-3 when leading after two periods of play and 12-3-0 against Northwest Division opponents...Comeau snapped a 13-game goalless drought...Kiprusoff improved to 32-12-3 in his career against Edmonton...Edmonton failed to convert on two power play chances, while the Flames went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
To me, it presents clarity. It presents clarity to the entire organization that we have to make some change, there's no question about that. We have good people, good players, but we have to make some change.