It was a battle for us. We figured it out. We just kept battling and kept working harder than them and we had the chance to win the game. - Karri Ramo
EDMONTON, AB -- Jonas Hiller’s 29-save performance could hardly be faulted in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the season-opener at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Twenty-four hours later, Karri Ramo ensured the Calgary Flames wouldn’t suffer the same fate against the Edmonton Oilers.
Ramo stopped 38 shots and bought enough time for Mason Raymond to record a hat trick to lift the Flames to a 5-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place on Thursday to draw first blood in the ‘Battle of Alberta’ and earn their first win of the season.
“I was lucky a few times tonight to see everything,” Ramo said. “It was a battle for us. We figured it out. We just kept battling and kept working harder than them and we had the chance to win the game. That’s just how it’s going to be the whole year. We have to be the harder working team to have a chance to win.”
Ramo had stopped 23 of 25 shots faced through 40 minutes before kicking aside all 15 sent his way in the third period, while Raymond completed his trio of goals to aid in the victory.
“Rams was great tonight,” Raymond said. “I don’t know if we would’ve had the win without him. He made some key stops at key times. After that, we took care of the rest of the rebounds and moved them out. We’ll definitely enjoy this one.”
The workload, albeit heavy, was welcomed by the 28-year-old netminder who is still battling Hiller for the right to be Calgary’s go-to guy in the crease.
“I think its cause every goalie likes to see pucks,” he said. “I don’t think coaches like that, but as a goalie it’s easier to play when you see pucks. I felt comfortable today. It was a tough game. I had to battle a lot.”
But by no means does a 60-minute effort guarantee him anything over Hiller, Ramo admitted.
“I think it’s better than playing bad,” he said. “It’s just the one game. We have to move on. We have 80-some games before playoffs.”