CALGARY — Tobias Rieder scored a pair of goals against his former team to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers in the final pre-season game for both clubs on Saturday.
Making a bid to crack Calgary’s lineup after finishing with no goals and 11 assists in 67 games with the Oilers last season, Rieder scored in the second period and then notched the game-winning goal at 14:21 of the third.
Milan Lucic, who the Flames acquired in July in a deal that saw fellow veteran forward James Neal go the other way to the Oilers, also scored for Calgary, while goalie David Rittich stopped 26-of-28 shots.
Gaetan Haas and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers, while goalie Mikko Koskinen made 19 saves
Just two minutes into the game, Rittich made a pad save to stop a shot off the stick of Tomas Jurco before also turning aside a point-blank attempt by Markus Granlund about 60 seconds later.
Although the Flames outshot the Oilers 9-3 in the opening period, they weren’t able to get any pucks past Koskinen. Mikael Backlund had the best chance during a power play for the Flames, but Koskinen made a nice stick save to stop the Calgary forward’s slapshot.
Rittich was sharp once again early in the second period when he slid across his crease to stop Leon Draisaitl’s slapshot during a man advantage for the Oilers.
Rieder opened the scoring for the Flames at 6:26 of the second period when he took a pass from linemate Mark Jankowski before snapping a shot to the glove side past Koskinen.
Koskinen then stopped a backhand shot by Sean Monahan before Rittich stuck out his right pad to thwart a breakaway attempt by Kassian at the other end of the ice.
Lucic shovelled a rebound past Koskinen for a power-play goal at 9:12 of the second to put the Flames up 2-0.
The Oilers scored a power-play goal of their own at 10:46 of the third period when Haas redirected a pass from Joakim Nygard past Rittich.
Just 31 seconds later, Kassian got in behind the Calgary defence and tipped another pass from Nygard past Rittich.
Rieder then found himself in the right place at the right time to redirect a shot from defenceman TJ Brodie past Koskinen, and the Flames hung on for the win despite being outshot 16-3 by the Oilers in the third period.
The Oilers will start the regular season with a home game against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, while the Flames begin the 2019-20 campaign Thursday in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2019.
Laurence Heinen, The Canadian Press