The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames by a score of 5-2 in the first edition of the Battle of Alberta on Saturday night. Connor McDavid led the way with his first hat-trick of the season while Mike Smith was excellent stopping 45 of the 47 shots he faced.
As one would it expect it was a game full of energy and bad blood. If you missed out, don’t sweat it, I got ALLLLLL the details you could possibly want!
So, without further ado, let’s see how the Oilers were able to send the Flames packing...
Now, this felt like a season opener. Both teams brought tons of energy to start things off and why wouldn’t they? It’s the Battle of Alberta!
Edmonton had the early pressure with a few solid chances to kick things off. They would even get a chance on the power-play but failed to execute. Smith came up huge a couple of times as well, stopping Andrew Mangiapane on a short-handed breakaway to keep things square.
The kill seemed to turn things around for the Flames as they started turning up the heat with a few extended shifts in the Oilers' end. Calgary seemed to be tilting the rink just a tad, doubling up the Oilers on the shot clock 10-5 at one point.
That pressure wouldn’t matter, as Warren Foegele sent a puck toward the Calgary net that bounced off the chest of Derek Ryan who would then jam in the puck for his first as an Oiler! 1-0 Edmonton with about seven minutes to go in the opening period.
The first hint of fireworks came shortly after as Calgary’s Rasmus Andersson got into it with Kailer Yamamoto after the whistle. Andersson would throw punches, Yamamoto would not and, when the dust settled, Edmonton would have a four-minute power-play.
That would be negated as Jesse Puljujarvi got dinged roughing up Markstrom. In all honestly, it was more of a dive from Markstrom than anything but the refs thought otherwise. 4-on-4 for two minutes.
Edmonton did get over a minute of power-play time after Puljujarvi came back on the ice and they made it count. Puljujarvi would go from the box right into the play where a shot of his would go right to McDavid who would roof it to make it 2-0.
Zack Kassian joined in on the fun late in the period after delivering a hit on Sean Monahan behind the Calgary net. Nikita Zadorov would mix it up with #44 for a couple of off-setting minors.
At last, the period ended without any further scoring. Edmonton took a 2-0 lead into the second.
Edmonton started the period on the PK after Hyman got caught closing his hand on the puck, but they would kill it off.
The two teams would trade penalties again after McDavid got called for a hook shortly after the Hyman penalty expired. The Oilers killed it off successfully once again. The home team then had a chance as Lucic was caught on a trip.
Connor McDavid wouldn’t let this one go to waste as he absolutely wired a one-timer from the circle into the net to give Edmonton a 3-0 lead. Everyone was wondering when we would see the captain unleash the one-timer and did he ever deliver here.
Calgary would eventually get on the board a Mangiapane jumped on a rebound to put it past Smith. The 3-0 lead was now cut to a 3-1 lead.
Hyman nearly got the goal back with a breakaway chance a few shift later but Markstrom was there to shut the door.
The Flames definitely smelled blood in the water after the goal. Just like how they did in the first, Calgary was sending everything toward Smith who had to stay sharp.
The assualt would be all for not for the rest of the period as the period ended with the Oilers holding the 3-1 lead.
Edmonton went into the period trying to defend their lead but they didn’t themselves many favours. Yamamoto got called on his second penalty of the game early on in the period to give Calgary a chance and they capitalized on it.
Renowned Oilers killer, Elias Lindoholm took a feed from Matt Tkachuk to wire a one-timer past Smith. 3-2 game with PLENTY of time left on the board.
Don’t hold your breath. On the ensuing shift Jesse Puljujarvi would rush down the ice like a bison on a partial break and beat Markstrom with a wicked wrister! Jesse had his second and the Oilers restore their two-goal lead with a 4-2 score.
McDavid completed the hat-trick with an empty netter and this one was done! The Oilers make it 5-2 to stay a perfect 2-0-0 on the season!
- I thought Bouchard really stood out in tonight’s game,. You hear so much about his offensive play but he was perhaps Edmonton’s best defensive player against Calgary. HE made a few really smart plays including a nifty play to prevent Mangipane from getting a shot on a partial break. Also have to give credit to Koekkoek...I thought he was very sound.
- I can’t necessarily say that about our top four. Calgary dominated for long stretches of the game and part of the game as they struggled to exit the zone. We knew that would be the case with the changes over the summer but you have to thingk it’ll be a focus for Tippett in the coming days.
- The reason why the Flames weren’t able to get more goals on the board with that pressure: Mike Smith. I thought he was fantastic once again and helped the Oilers cover up their defensive mistakes. He faced 47 shots and turned away 45. You don’t want your goalie to have to stand on his head every night but I won’t complain if he does.
- I keep liking Hyman more and more! He was once again all over the ice creating chances and causing general mayhem. Absolutely no problem with his game early on....speaking of which...
- I really wanna see Hyman play on that top-line with McDavid and Puljujarvi. Draisaitl is a great player but I think he defers too much to McDavid when he is up on that line. People should deferring TO Draisaitl. Reuniting the DRY line to give Edmonton that deadly one-two punch seems as obvious as ever with Hyman playing as well as he has been.
- Puljujarvi is the team’s third best forward and I say that as a huge RNH fan. Jesse has just been soo good as the team’s 1RW and I think a lot of people will be suprised with how good he will be this year. He’s on pace for 82 goals, but I’ll take the over.
- Connor McDavid = really good. Do I really have to elaborate? Super nice to see him capitalize with that power-play one-timer tonight. He has been working on that and the celebration showed just how happy he was with it. Hat-trick to add that...just an incredible player.
- I thought Zack Kassian had a decent game all things considered. I was extremely skeptical that he’d be playing good enough to actually crack this roster based on performance alone. Suffering a concussion in preseason pretty much cemented that thought. He proved me wrong and did exactly what he was meant to...which is piss off the Flames.
- The Edmonton Oilers are PERFECT! 2-0-0 to start the season and they are the first team in their division to win their first two! They stand atop the Pacific with four points and will look to make it six when the Anaheim Ducks visit town this Tuesday!