EDMONTON 4 CALGARY 3
The Edmonton Oilers, paced by three power play goals in the second period, took Round 1 of the Battle of Alberta Friday, downing the Calgary Flames 4-3 at a sold-out Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Flames took the lead briefly in the second period when David Moss top-shelfed his first of the season but the Oilers struck back with three consecutive power play goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Referee Dan Marouelli felt the wrath of the Flames faithful after two questionable calls led to Oiler goals on the power play.
| Flames Line Combinations |
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|Kiprusoff (S) McElhinney |
The Flames were able to claw back into the game when Todd Bertuzzi, dangling neatly towards the Oiler net, stuffed a deke behind starter Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who was playing in his first NHL game.
The goal came at 7:23 of the third but was all the Flames would muster in the first game of back-to-back meetings with the Oilers.
The Oilers were three for six n the power play and it made the difference in the game.
"We have to stay out of the box and figure a way to draw more penalties. We didn't do that tonight," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla.
The Flames took five consecutive penalties in the second period to give the Oilers life.
"You can't give a team that many power play chances, plain and simple," said Bertuzzi.
The first period had just a hint of fireworks when Rene Bourque and Oiler defenceman Sheldon Souray exchanged face rubs after a whistle in the Oilers zone. Leave it to a couple of Alberta boys -- Bourque is from Lac La Biche and Souray is from Elk Point -- to stir the Battle of Alberta pot a little.
The score after 20 minutes was 1-1 as Adrian Aucoin scored for Calgary and Jason Strudwick scored for the Oilers, who outshot Calgary 14-8 in the first.
Aucoin's goal was the result of some terrific forechecking and cycling from the Flames second line of Rene Bourque, Mike Cammalleri and Matthew Lombardi.
Head coach Mike Keenan was more than a little stumped by the calls.
"if you look hard enough you can probably find a penalty in every play. Were (the Flames penalties) warranted? The next question is were they penalty free for 40 minutes -- the opposition -- because that is what it amounts to," said Keenan.