The Edmonton Oilers (23-21-3) (5th, Pacific) welcomed the division-leading Calgary Flames (31-13-5) (1st, Pacific) to Rogers Place this evening, with plenty on the line for the hometown heroes as they try to secure one of the two Wildcard spots in the west. Calgary came into this one on the second half of a back to back after winning at home to Detroit last night, with the Oilers trying to manifest a three game win streak by taking advantage of a potentially tired group. Calgary has also never won at Rogers Place, so it was the general hope that it could continue with this game as well. The last Battle of Alberta featured some fireworks, and I, personally, was hoping to see some more of that from Edmonton.
Rittich vs. Koskinen was the goaltending match-up for the evening. Rittich has great numbers on the road, and Koskinen has great numbers at home this season.
Oilers lines looked this in practice:
Same defence as the previous game.
The game started slowly, with a couple of minor chances going each way. McDavid tried the same shot he pulled on Vancouver, with less success. And Koskinen forgot he’s not a defenceman, trying to play the puck behind the net and forcing the newest Oiler, Colby Cave, to make a nice defensive play with his net wide open.
Quick question: Why is Kylington pronounced as Schillington?
Anyways, the Flames aren’t letting the Oilers spend any time in their zone so far. Suffocating presence so far in the early goings of this game. Shots are 7-5 Calgary at this point.
Scary moment, as McDavid heads down the tunnel? Not sure if you guys knew, but he’s a pretty good. Just a skate repair, hopefully no one had any (serious) heart palpitations.
Rieder almost (again) scores his first as an Oiler. No dice on the great opportunity. Then Zack Kassian takes a somewhat marginal interference call on Giordano. To the PK against the 8th best powerplay team in the league. The Oilers kill it off despite 4 Flames shots, but Tkachuk takes a run at Koskinen gets everyone’s blood boiling and the teams start to mix it up more. Girodano takes an unsportsmanlike.
McDavid barely misses on the one-timer – would have been nice to have that one. Hathaway catches McDavid up high, and he’s bleeding. If you thought there was a call, you’re right. There wasn’t one. Then the Oilers get caught for too many men. Getting worked up over here.
Koskinen makes an AMAZING behind the back save, though it gets reviewed. Short review. Johnny Hockey keeps crying. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nothing-nothing. Shots 14-6 Flames.
After a McDavid near-miss, Gaudreau sneaks a low one by Koskinen. 1-0 Flames. Calgary has more than double the shots of Edmonton at this point.
McDavid finally draws a penalty, a high-sticking penalty to Giordano. Double-minor. Blood everywhere, woof. Could one of Edmonton’s “tough guys” actually stand up for him? Wowza.
Pretty poor excuse for a powerplay, though. No urgency, no effort, no goals. Nurse takes a penalty to end it. Need I say more?
On the ensuing Flames powerplay, Koskinen makes a beautiful stop on a rebound but then the Edmonton defence looks positively lost, and Giordano walks in from the point and bats in another rebound attempt. Brutal. But wait… Hitch challenges for goalie interference – did Monahan kick Mikko’s glove away? He did not. Goal counts. 2-0 Flames. They’re, simply put, the better team through and through.
Any time the teams get a little feisty, the refs have been taking two guys. Effectively removing the excitement of the game so far.
Gaudreau takes a cross-check penalty. Does he ever stop whining? Good lord. And the Oilers fourth powerplay of the evening results in… nothing.
A Kylington one-timer goes by Koskinen. Kinda want some defence, kinda want a save. Oh well. 3-0 Flames as they start to run away with it.
Russell takes a high-stick on Gaudreau, gets sold pretty well. Oilers kill it off.
Backlund takes a cross-check, and Draisatl takes one for embllesihment. Leon wasn’t looking and got hit high, so I’m not sure how he was supposed to react. Don’t get me started about the officiating.
With 17 seconds left, RNH gets the Oil on the board. Great play between Pujuljarvi and RNH. Lead cut to 3-1.
Gut-check time. Gotta risk it to get the biscuit… lets go.
Another Oilers powerplay. Flames are giving them some chances.. Oil need to take advantage. So far 0/4 on the PP. Heard some boo birds on this 5th chance. Koskinen made an insane diving save on Ryan as he got a shorthanded breakaway. Doing everything he can, could he maybe score a few too?
And we have life!! Pujuljarvi picks up his second point on a great tip from Lucic in front of the net. 3-2 Flames. They finally put JP on the left wall, where he should always be on the PP. Would be great if these two could find some chemistry and get going down the stretch.
Lucic quickly takes a penalty on Gaudreau. Another soft call… if Draisatl’s fall was an embellishment, Gaudreau’s should have been as well. You’d be asking for a miracle if you wanted consistent officiating though. Brodziak almost pots a shorty, and he draws a penalty on Neal to end the Flames powerplay. Where was this effort in the last two periods?
A few close chances on the powerplay, but they couldn’t make it happen. Down to 1 for 6 with the extra man. And then Pujuljarvi, who’s been playing lights out since the second, takes a bad interference call. But seriously, these guys are just trying to battle in a big game. Please stop calling every little thing. Embarrassing.
And off a brutal turnover from Jones, Backlund goes post and in on the far side. Quiets the whole barn. And Chiarelli’s savior, Brandon Manning, takes a very timely penalty with five minutes left in the game.
Ridiculous interference penalty to take, with nothing to gain. Monahan scores, 5-2 Flames. Game over. Two goals in 1:52 to put it away for the Flames.
See ya next time. Maybe a couple of other guys will show up, but I’d doubt it.