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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Oilers

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


The first edition of the Battle of Alberta featured rookies Sven Baertschi, drafted 13th overall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, drafted first overall, facing off against each other. The Flames first rounder was particularly impressive in the tilt. He showed off some of his dynamic offensive flair in the third period when he stole the puck from Anton Lander right in front of the Oilers net and wired a wrist shot on net from point blank range but was robbed by the glove of Nikolai Khabibulin. Overall, Baertschi registered three shots on net in 13:07 of ice time.


19 year-old Maxwell Reinhart did not skate for the first few days of training camp due to illness. He began practicing with the team midweek, missing the Flames first preseason games against the Canucks, and made his exhibition debut on Saturday night in Edmonton. Originally centering Baertschi and Niklas Hagman, he was shifted to Rene Bourque and Lee Stempniak's line in the second period. The move paid off for both Reinhart and the Flames as the youngster was able to earn an assist on Bourque's second period marker.


The player Oilers netminders have come to loathe over the past couple seasons is Bourque. The Lac La Biche native has been a thorn in their side since joining the Flames, scoring seven goals and 15 points over the past two campaigns. His propensity to score against the Oilers apparently hasn't diminished as he opened the scoring at 8:17 of the second period when he sent a slapshot through Khabibulin.


While the Oilers opted to play their number one netminder in Khabibulin, the Flames went Leland Irving, who will likely be the Abbotsford Heat's starter this season. Playing in his second game of the preseason, Irving looked a lot more comfortable than he did in Vancouver on Tuesday. The Oilers put 29 shots on net and the 23 year-old was forced to make more than a couple clutch saves to hold his team in the contest. In his 59:05 of ice time, Irving posted a .931 save percentage thanks to his 27 stops.


Hagman revamped his entire offseason training routine in hopes of getting reviving his offensive game this year and if his preseason is any indication, he's looking at a drastic increase in his goal and point totals in the 2011-12 campaign. He scored twice in Vancouver on Tuesday evening and while he was held off the scoresheet in Edmonton, he had several quality scoring opportunities throughout the game. Officially, he had three shots on net in 12:08 of ice time but whenever he was in the Oilers zone, he was a threat.

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