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Flames-Oilers: Inside the Game

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


— The Oilers struck first but it was the Flames that extinguished Edmonton's playoff dreams.

With the win, the Flames have officially eliminated the Edmonton Oilers.

Adrian Aucoin, Alex Tanguay and Owen Nolan scored in seperate periods, giving the Flames the 3-2 victory.

Calgary Flames' Cory Sarich, center, defends goalie Mikka Kiprusoff of Finland, from Edmonton Oilers' Sam Gagner, left, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 1, 2008, in Edmonton, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)

The first period was fast paced and both teams had a multitude of chances. The Oilers got themselves on the board first when Kyle Brodziak made a pretty pass to Curtis Glencross. His 14th goal of the season beat Kiprusoff five hole at

Edmonton took the first two penalties of the game, both for holding the stick, and the Flames got their power play going on their second chance. Adrian Aucoin netted the equalizer at 14:12. The power play goal really boosted the team's confidence and their forechecking was drastically better than the first half of the period.

The second period was another high-octane 20 minutes. Chances were traded back and forth, with both goaltenders making huge saves to keep their respective teams in the game.

Aucoin then made a huge hit on Ales Hemsky. He took him out along the boards and the forward was hurting when he made back up to his feet. He limped to the bench and then headed back to the locker room. He did not return to the game.

Alex Tanguay got lucky a break late in the second period and it put the Flames up by a goal. His odd-angle shot hit Dwayne Roloson and bounced into the corner of the net. Tanguay's goal came with just three seconds left in the period.

The third period was full of desperation on the Oilers part. They knew they needed a win to keep their playoff dreams alive. Glencross received a stretch pass from Kyle Brodziak and broke in alone in the Flames zone. His wrist shot beat Kiprusoff and tied the game up.

The Oilers kept coming from there. Kiprusoff had to be at his best as Edmonton sent shot after shot at the Finnish netminder, playing their hardest for the post-season.

Owen Nolan would play spoiler however. Dion Phaneuf sent a blast from the point, with Matthew Lombardi trying to tip the puck, and the rebound landed right on Nolan's stick. He made no mistake with his wrist shot, sending it over Roloson's shoulder. It was his first goal in 22 games and it at 16:16, making it extremely hard for the Oilers to come back.

Edmonton tried their hardest but the Flames stood tall under an assault of shots sent at their net in the final minutes.

THE BIG SAVE: Robert Nilsson almost got himself a breakaway early in the first period but had to put on the brakes because of Dion Phaneuf was able to get back into the play. Nilsson passed it over to a wide open Sam Gagne. Kiprusoff stopped Gagne's shot but gave up a rebound that went right to a waiting Andrew Cogliano. Kiprusoff had to extend himself over to the opposite side of the net to stop the young star from shovelling the puck into the right side of the cage.
THE BIG HIT: Adrian Aucoin's hit on Ales Hemsky in the second period took the Oiler out for the rest of the game. While battling for the puck, Aucoin shoved Hemsky down hard and the impact ended up injuring the forward. Hemsky was slow to his feet and limped off the ice. He stayed on the bench for a few moments before heading back to the locker room.
THE TURNING POINT: Owen Nolan picked up a huge rebound from Dion Phaneuf's shot and put it up over Dwayne Roloson. The game-winning goal 16:16. The surging Edmonton Oilers were suddenly behind by one and they couldn't climb back in the final four minutes.

QUOTABLE: "It comes down to team play. You've got to take care of yourself, if you don't win, you get yourself in trouble. We just try to focus on what we need do to win, keep winning our games and see what happens." - Owen Nolan on the team's mentality heading into the playoffs

THE ROSTER: The Flames scratches were D Rhett Warrener (ankle), D David Hale, F Mark Smith, F Craig Conroy and F Eric Nystrom.

WORTH NOTING: Craig Conroy was out of the line up with a torso injury that occured in Sunday's loss to Vancouver ... Daymond Langkow was back after missing the last game due to a death in the family ... Jarome Iginla was once again held off the scoreboard. His next goal will be his 50th of the season. He hasn't scored in three games.

BY THE NUMBERS: Owen Nolan's goal was his first in 22 games. It was his 16th of the season ... Miikka Kiprusoff is now by himself in third place in the Flames all-time winningest goalies. He now has 145 wins, behind Dan Bouchard (168) and Mike Vernon (262). He was previously tied with Rejean Lemelin.
UP NEXT: The Flames visit the Northwest Division leading Minessota Wild. The game is broadcast on Sportsnet West at 6:00 p.m.

Author: Victoria Peterson

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