The Oilers outshot the Flames 40-26 on the opening night of the 2014/2015 season, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. At times, the goaltending was reminiscent of the goaltending at this same time last season, and the Flames cashed in on some golden chances gifted to them by the Copper and Blue.
First Period: Up and Down and Back Up Again
After a brief period of strong play to start the season, the Oilers looked to fall back into their old ways for a portion of the first frame.
0:30 - A strong forechecking shift from Hendricks. Forces an offensive zone faceoff.
2:30 - Mark Fayne closes the gap in the neutral zone and stops the advancing Flames. I hear that’s what he gets paid for.
3:00 - Giordano scores off a nice feed from Colborne after Scrivens misplays the puck behind the net. Hall missed the interception and couldn’t close in time.
4:15 - Hudler is left WIDE open in front of Scrrivens after Giordano intercepted the D-to-D feed behind the net. Two Oilers were near the net and failed to pick up Hudler.
6:30 - Hall and Nuge do some nice battling in the corner. No shot attempt off the effort, though.
8:45 - Joensuu almost gets a scoring chance in front of the net, but is stick checked and loses the puck while pulling it across.
9:00 - Eberle fans on his shot while breaking in down the side wall, but gets a quick pass off to the front of the net. The Flames D-man gets a stick on it before Nuge can and it squeaks wide. Closest chance for the Oilers yet.
9:30 - Petry gets beat at the bottom of the circle as Russell cuts in towards the net. Didn’t get a great shot off though. Number 2 looked a little awkward on the play.
11:40 - Oilers to the PP. Eberle controls on a zone entry and they try to get set up. Hall has a wide open net off a feed from the point, but decides to go around behind and Giordano knocks the net off. A bad break for the Oilers.
12:59 - Oilers score! The second PP unit looks to be passing extremely well. Purcell has his first as an Oiler on a cross ice feed from Perron. Second assist to Yakupov.
13:45 - Nikitin with a good stick breaks up a potential partial odd-man rush by the Flames.
14:00 - Fayne with a strong shot off a RNH face-off win.
At the commercial break: Camera does a close up on Nikitin, who looks like he’s about to puke with his glove to his mouth. Happy first day as an Oiler, Nikita.
16:00 - Pouliot with a sick backhand feed to Yakupov who gets a strong shot on net. Let’s get that 67-29-10 line a little more ice time, yeah?
16:30 - Purcell on the 3-on-2 brings it all the way from the Oilers zone and takes the shot on net.
17:00 - Hall breaks up a pass in the D zone after a potentially disastrous giveaway sequence.
18:30 - The Gordon line has been good so far at maintaining pressure in the Flames zone.
19:30 - Great save by Scrivens as another Flame is left wide open bottom circle.
By the end of the period, the momentum had shifted back in favour of the Oilers, but it’s clear they have to be better at picking up the opposition in front of their own net. They out-shot the Flames 14-7, out-hit them 9-7, and won over 65% of the faceoffs.
Second Period: Oilers Keep It Up
0:45 - Purcell with a great shot and then a nice one-touch rebound slapper. His shot is a little underrated by my eye.
1:30 - Scrivens misplays the puck again and Hudler nearly connects with his man in front.
2:44 - Eberle, the newest member of the goon squad, is called for tripping. Flames to the PP. The Oilers do a good job of killing it off.
5:15 - Eberle catches iron! Inches away from tying it up.
5:30 - Eberle almost finds RNH on the rush as they come back into the zone. They maintain pressure afterward and get a couple shot attempts.
7:30 - Flames don’t have a shot on net yet in the second. The Oilers are thoroughly outplaying them.
10:00 - Taylor Hall draws a penalty. He’s wheeling. Oilers to the PP.
10:34 - Stajan trips up Perron at the top of the circle. 5-on-3 for Edmonton.
11:25 - Nuge sets up Hall, who absolutely lasers a shot post and in. Game is all tied up at two.
12:01 - Brad Hunt nearly puts the Oilers in the lead as he rings one off the cross bar. He has a surprisingly heavy shot.
14:15 - Scrivens comes up big, stopping Monahan, on a nice play by the Flames.
14:50 - Pouliot fires one off the half wall as he comes into the zone. These Oilers are shooting from everywhere, and that’s a great sign.
15:45 - Draisaitl with strong work in the corner, shielding the puck. He gets it to Yakupov, who feeds it to Petry for a shot on net.
Third Period: A Bad Omen
0:45 - Taylor Hall comes flying into the Flames zone. No shot off the rush, but he’s rolling tonight.
2:40 - Hendricks is jamming away off a Ference shot off the backboards. He’s been present tonight, having a good game.
3:10 - Scrivens robs Backlund point blank in the slot. How many chances from that slot will the Oilers give up?
4:23 - Flames go up 3-2. Mason Raymond fires a slap shot past Scrivens on a partial break. Ference was trying to stay with him, closing the gap. Scrivens will want that one back.
7:30 - Nikitin’s pass up ice is picked off. The Flames attack and Scrivens makes a nice glove save off a shot from the top of the circle.
12:45 - Nuge takes a pass from Eberle that goes off a broken stick. He gets a shot off, but it isn’t a great one. Ramo with the save.
14:00 - Scrivens with a huge stop on Byron. He’s been good in flashes tonight, bad in flashes.
14:42 - Colborne sets up Mason Raymond cross-crease for the hat trick. Schultz was right there, but couldn’t tie up Raymond. 4-2 Flames.
18:00 - Oilers pull the goalie. Six attackers on the ice.
18:24 - Pouliot gets called for slashing, sealing the loss for the Oilers on opening night.
19:20 - TJ Brodie adds salt to the wound on a third rebound attempt. 5-2 Flames final.
Should we be disappointed with the Oilers effort tonight? All four offensive lines showed an ability to push the pace and create chances, even (and perhaps especially) the Gordon line. The team severely outshot the Flames, but they gave up way too many quality shots in the slot area. Scrivens has to be better moving forward, or he’ll lose the job to Fasth, who looked showed well in the preseason. Ultimately, though the team showed some good things tonight, they lost a game they should have won.
Was tonight a bad omen? Or is that reading into the outcome too much?