CALGARY, AB -- With a flu bug running through the dressing room, the Calgary Flames were looking for a cure.
Reto Berra provided them one.
Berra made 30 saves and Jiri Hudler -- who was doubtful himself to play -- scored at 3:14 of overtime to lift the Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday.
With the flu striking Joe Colborne a day prior and several others suffering similar symptoms, Flames coach Bob Hartley wasn’t sure who he would have at his disposal. All he could say with certainty was that Berra would earn his first start since being pulled eight days ago in a 5-2 loss against the Anaheim Ducks.
Berra, with a little Hudler help, was all Hartley needed.
Hudler capitalized on a bouncing pass off the stick of Kris Russell, corralling the errant puck and firing it behind Oilers’ starter Devan Dubnyk for his team-leading 27th point of the season to give Calgary their third win in four games.
Berra was 10.1 seconds away from his first career National Hockey League shutout before Taylor Hall tied the game 1-1, taking a pass from David Perron and burying it behind the Flames goaltender to force overtime.
It was his only blemish.
Berra was busy early, too. He made 16 first-period saves while Lee Stempniak opened scoring for the Flames at the 16-minute mark.
A turnover forced by Matt Stajan at the Flames blue line created a scramble in the neutral zone that sprung Stempniak in a two-on-one, who snaps a shot short side over the glove of Dubnyk to put Calgary up 1-0.
Berra had some help escaping the first period with the lead. Edmonton struck two posts in final minute of the opening stanza with Blair Jones in the penalty box for roughing.
Berra continued to frustrate the Oilers in the second.
Looking to tie the game near the midway mark of the middle frame, Mark Arcobello had Berra fishing for a rebound from his stomach. The Oilers forward retrieved the puck, but was denied by the pad of the Flames goaltender to keep Edmonton off the board.
Berra was equally good in denying Hemsky’s deflection from the slot in the dying minutes of the stanza before kicking out David Perron’s sharp-angle shot off a faceoff in the Flames’ zone with just 2.6 seconds remaining in the second.
Hall’s goal late in the third forced overtime, but allowed for Berra’s heroics to stand courtesy Hudler’s eighth of the season.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Bearing down two-on-one, Stempniak beat Dubnyk with a perfectly placed wrister over the glove of the Oilers goaltender to stake the Flames to a 1-0 lead in the first period.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Sprawled on his stomach trying to cover a loose puck on a rebound in front, Berra threw his leg in the air to take a goal away from Mark Arcobello near the midway mark of the second period -- his 18th save of the game.
Hudler’s overtime marker at 3:14 of overtime was the difference for the Flames.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Flames have allowed just six goals in their past four games since surrendering five against the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 29th.
Derek Smith, Lane MacDermid and Christopher Breen were scratched against the Oilers. Curtis Glencross (MCL sprain), Sean Monahan (foot), Dennis Wideman (hand) and TJ Galiardi (back) all miss the game due to injury.
The Flames return to Scotiabank Saddledome to host Jarome Iginla and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. MT, TSN).