There’s an old saying that says misery loves company. The world of sports is no exception to that rule. When a team finds themselves out of the playoff race, it’s always satisfying to play spoiler to the teams still trying to make a run. And it’s even more enjoyable to dash the hopes of a bitter rival. Despite a recent rash of injures, the Calgary Flames have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Flames won 5 of their last 8 games and jumped up into the 8th and final playoff spot going into their game against Edmonton. Perhaps they saw a game versus the lowly Oilers as an easy 2 points, and they even scored the games first goal. But the Oilers came to play that night.
After Scott Hannan made it 1-0 for Calgary midway through the first frame, Jordan Eberle tied the game late with 26th goal of the season from Sam Gagner and Corey Potter. They also outshot the Flames in that first period 17-7, but as usual, goalie Mikka Kipprusoff kept his team in it. The second period, however, caught up to the Flames. The Oilers scored 4 goals and eventually chased Kipprusoff from the net. Ales Hemsky got his 5th of the season halfway through the period from Taylor Hall and Shawn Horcoff. Eric Belanger scored his third a few minutes later from Ben Eager. 30 seconds after that, Sam Gagner continued his torrid play with his 14th of the season from Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth. Smyth then scored his 17th late in the period from Gagner and Jeff Petry. The Oilers held the edge in shots again, this time by an even bigger margin, 17-4. Edmonton wasn’t done there, as Taylor Hall’s 21st of the season on the powerplay gave them a 6-1 lead. That would be the final score.
Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves. The Oilers out-shot the Flames in this game 42-22, and dominated play for long stretches. They may be out of the race, but Edmonton showed up big time in this game to take the wind out of the sales of their fiercest rival. And they loved every minute of it.
With head coach Tom Renney still suffering from a concussion, it was assistant coach Ralph Krueger’s first victory behind the bench. His comments after the game said it all: “It was a really excellent team effort from A to Z. I’m really happy for the team.” (Edmonton Oilers)
The Oilers welcome the Philadelphia Flyers into town this evening, and are hoping to keep the momentum going.
“If we can play like that and bring it consistently, we’re going to win a lot more games.” – Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers)