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Flames fall to Oilers in second split-squad game

Mark Giordano scores lone goal for Calgary in pre-season opener

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- Mark Giordano scored, but the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 in pre-season split-squad action at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.
 
Brian Elliott and Mason McDonald combined to make 19 saves for the Flames (0-2-0), who also lost 4-2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. 
 
Anton Slepyshev and Jere Sallinen scored for the Oilers (0-2-0).
 
Trailing 2-0, Giordano one-timed a Dennis Wideman pass by Oilers reliever Laurent Brossoit with nine seconds remaining in regulation. The goal game after Sallinen hit the back of the empty net at 18:57 with McDonald on the bench for the extra attacker.

Slepyshev opened the scoring at 7:10 of the third period. With Dillon Dube serving a tripping minor, Darnell Nurse's point shot went wide of McDonald, but Slepyshev gathered the rebound and banked a shot from below the goal line off the goaltender's shoulder to put Edmonton up 1-0. 
 
Sam Bennett had a chance to tie the game at 12:39 after taking a pass from Troy Brouwer through the crease, but banking his shot off the pad of an unsuspecting Brossoit. After missing from a shot in the slot later in the shift, Brouwer's tap-in on a setup from Bennett was stopped by Brossoit with 3:57 remaining. 
 
Bennett started his impressive showing after a scoreless first period, but neither team could score in the second. He came close, stickhandling through the slot before dishing to Brouwer for the finish at 3:14. The goal was called back, though, with Matthew Tkachuk crashing the crease of Oilers starter Jonas Gustavsson. 

Later in his shift, Bennett set up Alex Chiasson for a cross-crease opportunity but it was tapped wide.
 
At 6:25, Bennett barreled down his off wing and but had his shorthanded opportunity stuffed by Gustavsson. Brouwer followed up on the rebound, but hit the post to keep the game scoreless.
 
Bennett also hit the crossbar with 5:14 remaining in the period. 
 
Goal of the Game: With Calgary's net empty, Giordano's one-timer off a pass from Wideman blew past Brossoit in the late stages of the third period to pull Calgary to within one.
 
Save of the Game: Elliott swung post-to-post to deny Nurse's one-timer attempt on the power play midway through the second period.
 
Unsung Moment of the Game: Just 1:05 into the second, Elliott blockered away a partial breakaway attempt from Patrick Maroon. Following up the play, Mark Letestu threaded a pass that would've connected backdoor to Nail Yakupov for a tap-in, but Matt Stajan deflected the offering out of harm's way.
 
Highlight of the Game: Ryan Lomberg, who had two fighting majors at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, also dropped the gloves in a spirited tilt midway through the second period with Oilers forward Braden Christoffer. 
 
They said it: "I thought we generated a lot of scoring chances, especially the second half of the game. Tough. It's a good lesson to learn. It's a case where one little mistake on the PK costs you. It's a good learning lesson for a lot of the guys in here. I liked some of the chances we had. We definitely had some good zone time and some really good chances." -Giordano on his overall assessment of the game.
 
"Solid two periods. I think you could hear the crowd giving him a few cheers there. Smart reads with the play with his stick and some solid saves for us. He's positionally sound. I don't know about you guys…he looked like he was really in control of his game early and he's going to be a big help to this crew." -Coach Glen Gulutzan on goaltender Brian Elliott.  
 
Need to Know: The lines for Calgary's end of the split-squad game consisted of: Tkachuk-Bennett-Brouwer; Hunter Shinkaruk- Stajan- Chiasson; Brandon Bollig- Dube-Morgan Klimchuk; Eetu Tuulola- Lomberg-Austin Carroll. Giordano was paired with TJ Brodie, and Jyrki Jokipakka skated alongside Dennis Wideman. Oliver Kylington and Deryk Engelland made up the third pairing. Elliott started the game and played two periods, and McDonald entered to start the third. 
 
What's Next: The Flames contingent in Edmonton will continue on for the second of back-to-back games against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (6 p.m. MT; TSN3, Sportsnet 960 The FAN). 

 

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