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Flames look to extend win streak to four vs. Oilers

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

OILERS (8-22-7) at FLAMES (20-15-3)


Season series: The Calgary Flames have won the first two games against the Edmonton Oilers. Rookie forward Johnny Gaudreau scored twice in 16 seconds in the first period of a 4-1 victory Saturday at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Oilers team scope: Ben Scrivens made 37 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped four shooters in the shootout to help Edmonton end a nine-game losing streak (0-7-2) with a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. The Oilers had not won since defeating the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Dec. 7. They are 2-18-2 in their past 22 games. The win Tuesday was their first past regulation this season. "It was great to finally go to a game that goes to extra time this season and come away with the two points," said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had one of Edmonton's goals. "Over the past little while, it has become pretty frustrating." It was the first NHL win for interim coach Todd Nelson (1-3-2), who took over when Dallas Eakins was fired Dec. 15. "It does feel really good," Nelson said of his first NHL win. "I'm not sure it has sunk in yet. It is more or less a relief. It's a relief for everyone to get this win under our belts, and now we can build on the result." In Nelson's first five games, Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish accompanied him behind the bench.

Flames team scope: After losing eight straight (0-7-1) in early December, Calgary has won three in a row, including the victory Saturday against the Oilers between two wins against the Kings. "Learning to win is the toughest that you can do at the NHL level," coach Bob Hartley said. "People don't realize how tough it is to win at this level. Just to make the playoffs, it's an achievement -- 16 teams out of 30. It's an 82-game marathon." Helping the Flames' cause of late has been the duo of Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler, who have combined for five goals and 11 points during the winning streak. "I think that they have great chemistry. They love playing together," Hartley said. "Looking at their production I think it is pretty safe to say they've been real good, not only on the offensive side but also on the defensive side. They're giving us the complete game. That's why we're winning games." The Flames have won the first two of their six-game homestand. Goalie Jonas Hiller, who made 26 saves Saturday against the Oilers, is expected to start.

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