EDMONTON — Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and two assists as the Calgary Flames cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.
Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames (20-15-5), who had lost four of their previous five games.
Connor McDavid responded for the Oilers (20-17-4), who have lost eight of their last 10.
It was a disastrous start for Edmonton. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was muscled off the puck behind the net and Lindholm sent it in front to Mangiapane, who was all alone to score his eighth of the season past Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen. The goal came on the first shot of the game, just 11 seconds into the first period.
Calgary added to its lead 12 minutes into the opening period as Mangiapane won a battle with defender Darnell Nurse and sent it across to Tkachuk for this 15th.
Nurse got some redemption a couple minutes later as his shot was tipped past Flames goalie David Rittich by McDavid for his 22nd of the year.
The Flames made it 3-1 just 68 seconds into the middle frame as a soft wrist shot from Monahan trickled through Koskinen’s legs.
Calgary didn’t let up, with Lindholm sending a shot through a screen past Koskinen for his 16th of the season — prompting the Oilers to replace him in net with Mike Smith after the starter allowed four goals on 24 shots.
The Flames got another early-period goal in the third as Backlund beat Smith on a short-handed breakaway just 57 seconds in.
The Flames are back in action on Sunday when they host the Vancouver Canucks, while the Oilers are off until Tuesday, when they welcome the New York Rangers to town.
It was the first meeting of the season out of five scheduled contests between the provincial rivals, with games on Jan. 11, Jan. 29, Feb. 1 and Apr. 4 still to come in the second half of the schedule. The two teams split their series last year… A pre-game ceremonial faceoff featured 19-year-old rising soccer star and Edmonton native Alphonso Davies, a midfielder for FC Bayern Munich and member of the Canadian national men’s soccer team.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press