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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Oilers

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB -- The Edmonton Oilers were in a giving mood.

The Calgary Flames had no problem capitalizing on the opportunity to take two points in the final installment of the Battle of Alberta this season.

Dennis Wideman and Sven Baertschi scored goals three minutes apart in the second period to break a 1-1 tie to lift the Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday.

As a result, they might've gifted away their chance to climb back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Losers of five straight, the Oilers now sit in 12th place in the West with 39 points, six back of the Dallas Stars for the eighth and final playoff spot with three other teams to leapfrog.

Even after 20 minutes, Wideman put Calgary up for good just 1:55 into the second period.

On the tail end of a Magnus Paajarvi cross-checking penalty, TJ Brodie sprung Tim Jackman on a partial breakaway. Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulan made the initial stop, but Wideman rushed in to poke the rebound across the line for the 2-1 lead.

With his first goal of the season, Baertschi extended the lead to two.

Lee Stempniak forced a turnover off the stick of Ryan Smyth just inside the Oilers zone that Baertschi jumped on, snapping the puck off Khabibulan's glove and into the net at 5:13 for the 3-1 lead.

On another turnover, Maxwell Reinhart capped the scoring midway through the third period with his first career NHL goal in front of brother and Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Griffin Reinhart.

Pressuring Justin Schultz in the Edmonton end, Jiri Hudler grabbed the puck and centered a pass that Jackman redirected onto the stick of Reinhart, who pumped a shot by the Oilers keeper at 10:19 to give Calgary their fourth goal of the night.

Mikael Backlund wasted little time putting Calgary up, scoring 26 seconds into the game.

Affter Brodie kept Ladislav Smid's clearing attempt onside, Backlund finished a Baertschi pass off the post and behind Khabiublan for the 1-0 lead.

It held for just 1:18.

Working the puck down low, Ryan Jones centered the puck to Lennart Petrell, who slid the puck under Flames starter Joey MacDonald to tie the game at one.


After forcing a turnover, Hudler's centering pass was redirected by Jackman onto the stick of Reinhart, who pumped home the first goal of his NHL career.


Just four minutes into the contest tied 1-1, MacDonald flashed his right pad to rob Taylor Hall off of a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set-up in the slot.


Midway through the game, Steve Begin drilled Jerred Smithson into the boards at the Flames blueline.


Wideman's power lay goal just 1:55 into the second period gave the Flames a lead they wouldn't relinquish over the final 38 minutes of the game.


Baertschi's goal was his first of the season and first since March 15, 2012 during his brief, five-game stint as an emergency recall from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.


“Really exciting. Relieving. I've been waiting a long time for this. This is the puck I really wanted. I can't even explain in words what I was feeling. I heard it his the post, but I had to wait for everyone else to celebrate before I was sure.”

-Maxwell Reinhart (courtesy Calgary Sun)


The infirmary is filling up for the Flames, with Alex Tanguay (knee), Brian McGrattan (shoulder), Matt Stajan (upper body), Derek Smith (knee) and Paul Byron (wrist) all missing the game due to injury. A bout of the flu also kept Curtis Glencross out of the game. Anton Babchuk was the lone healthy scratch.


The Flames return to the friendly confines of Scotiabank Saddledome for a three game stretch starting Monday against the Minnesota Wild (7 p.m. MT, SNET-W) before hosting the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday (7:30 p.m. MT, TSN) and the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (7 p.m. MT, SNET-Flames) to close out the home portion of Calgary's schedule this season.

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