CALGARY — Elias Lindholm scored his 19th and 20th goals Saturday night as the Calgary Flames led early, fell behind twice, then came back to win 4-3 over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Flames’ fifth win in a row moves them into first place in the tight Pacific Division, one point up on both Arizona and Vegas. The Oilers are two points back.
Johnny Gaudreau and Dillon Dube also scored for Calgary (25-17-5). The Flames open up a three-game road trip in Montreal that will take them up to the all-star break and the team’s bye week.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with a pair and Connor McDavid scored for Edmonton (24-18-5), which lost in regulation for the first time in six games. Kailer Yamamoto had two assists and Leon Draisaitl also had a helper to extend his point-streak to six games (3G-6A).
Tied 3-3 after two periods, Lindholm put the Flames back in front 39 seconds into the third with a power-play goal.
From just inside the face-off circle, Lindholm snapped a shot that beat Mikko Koskinen over his shoulder.
The goal came during the second of two roughing minors on Zack Kassian for an incident late in the second when he took offence to a hit from Matthew Tkachuk and through off his gloves and started punching the Flames forward, also tossing him to the ice twice. Kassian also got a 10-minute misconduct while Tkachuk was not penalized.
Up until that point, there had not been a penalty called on either team.
Calgary finished 1-for-2 with the extra man. The Oilers No. 1 ranked power play didn’t get a chance with the extra man until the latter half of the third period. They were unable to convert on that one opportunity.
Former Oiler Cam Talbot had 29 stops for Calgary. Starting a third straight game for the first time this season, he was busiest in the final 20 minutes when he stopped all 15 shots he faced.
With former Flame Mike Smith getting the night off after playing the first four games of the Oilers’ road trip, Koskinen made 29 stops for Edmonton.
Tied 2-2 after one, Nugent-Hopkins gave Edmonton its second lead 1:24 into the second, as the Oilers took advantage of a sequence of bad luck for Gaudreau.
First, as last man back, Gaudreau lost an edge inside the blueline with the puck squirting free. After Kailer Yamamoto collected the loose puck and sent a cross-ice pass to Nugent-Hopkins, Gaudreau than had Nugent-Hopkins’ shot carom off his skate and slip through the pads of Talbot.
Calgary tied it 3-3 at 11:34 of the second period when Dube got his stick on the puck at the top of the crease and chipped it over Koskinen’s shoulder.
After scoring first, then falling behind, Calgary tied it 2-2 with 41 seconds left in the first on Gaudreau’s goal.
Edmonton took a 2-1 lead at 9:06 on a vintage play from McDavid, who chipped the puck past Noah Hanifin at the Oilers blueline then took off on a breakway. As he burst in on Talbot, he beat him with a little forehand chip shot into the top corner.
Calgary got off to a terrific start, pouring on the pressure in the early going. Shortly after Gaudreau was stopped on a breakaway, Lindholm spun in the slot and sent a shot past Koskinen. The goal at 4:04 came on the Flames’ eighth shot.
But the Oilers tied it just over a minute later, perfectly executing an odd-man rush with Nugent-Hopkins burying a cross-ice pass from Yamamoto.
Notes: Sean Monahan had an assist giving him 399 career points, which moves him ahead of Paul Reinhart and into 14th on the Flames all-time list. Gaudreau had two points to tie him with Jim Peplinski (424 pts) for 11th.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2020.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press