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THRICE AS NICE

The Flames dump the Oilers in a shootout and win their third straight over their provincial rivals this season

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

EDMONTON - Andrew Mangiapane scored a pair of goals, but the Flames got the hat-trick.

And another huge two points.

Calgary skated to a 4-3 shootout win over the Oilers at Rogers Place Wednesday night to beat their provincial rivals for the third time in three outings this season.

 

Video: Alanna Nolan recaps the win over the Oilers

 

Sean Monahan was the lone scorer in the one-on-one battle, David Rittich stopping all three shooters he faced.

The game lived up to its pre-hype billing.

And then some.

It had a little of everything: big hits, big plays, big goals and big drama.

And edge-of-your-seat affair, with a few scraps thrown in for good measure, including a highly anticipated bout between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian.

The Flames would strike first in the contest.

Moments after a chorus of boos welcomed Tkachuk to the ice for his first shift, the visitors got on the board to momentarily silence the crowd.

Just 1:01 into the first period, Elias Lindholm slung a pass towards Tkachuk as he drove hard to the goal, the puck deflecting off the skate of Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson and past former Flame Mike Smith.

It was Lindholm's team-leading 21st goal of the campaign, with Milan Lucic and Travis Hamonic getting the helpers.

 

Video: CGY@EDM: Lindholm stakes Flames to early lead

 

Not long after, Rittich - playing his first tilt since helping the Pacific Division squad win the all-star game last weekend - displayed the type of skill that earned him a berth in that showcase event, slamming his pads shut to deny a five-hole tip attempt by Leon Draisaitl. 

As expected, there were plenty of good chances in the first period, the best of which included:

  • Kassian held the puck on a 2-on-1 with McDavid, before firing a shot that Rittich flashed the leather on.
     
  • A quick three-way passing play from Johnny Gaudreau to recent Heat call-up Buddy Robinson to Monahan, the latter tipping the puck just over the crossbar. Worth noting Robinson - in his second game since arriving from Stockton - was physical in the game, tossing his 6-foot-6 body around with some big hits (like below).

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: 🎵 And here's to you, Buddy Robinson 🎵 pic.twitter.com/rBHn25WMXf

 

  • Then the speedy McDavid split the D and went in alone on Rittich, however the Calgary 'tender patiently stayed with him as he skated across the crease and kicked out his right pad to make a stop.


    Video: CGY@EDM: Rittich stymies McDavid on breakaway
     

  • Then the best opportunity of the period to make it 2-0 came when Smith left his net to play a puck, with it squirting into the slot where Monahan stepped into a slapshot. The puck trickled through Smith, who recovered into his crease, and appeared to cross the line. However, the officials waved it off.

Then came the extra-curriculars with less than four minutes left in the frame.

First it was Monahan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins getting into it as they skated off on a line change, eventually dropping the mitts and trading punches in front of the Oilers bench.

Then 24 seconds later, right off a faceoff in the Calgary zone to the right of Rittich, Kassian and Tkachuk flipped their gloves for a quick fight.

The Flames got the first powerplay of the game 2:53 into the second period when Smith was tagged for delay of game after trying to clear the puck and putting it over the glass.

The Flames got plenty of pucks on the cage but were unable to score.

Oilers youngster Kailer Yamamoto tied things up at 5:48. Draisaitl won the draw back in the Calgary zone to Nugent-Hopkins in the high slot, who snapped a shot that Rittich saved but Yamamoto grabbed the rebound and slid it five-hole under the lunging goaltender.

Andrew Mangiapane put the visitors back on top at 13:05. Sam Bennett won a battle for the puck along the left-wing boards and put a perfect pass onto Mangiapane's tape in the slot for a one-timer that beat Smith high far-side.

It was his ninth goal of the year on Calgary's 20th shot of the contest.

 

Video: CGY@EDM: Mangiapane tees up one-timer from circle

 

The Oilers answered back quickly on a powerplay 1:36 later with Mark Giordano in the box for slashing, Alex Chiasson batting a pass/shot attempt by Draisaitl out of the air in the blue paint and into the net.

Mangiapane showed off his penchant for hard work on the boards for his second tally of the night, battling hard for a loose puck before skating out into the slot and taking a pass from Tkachuk to outwait Smith and score a nifty backhand with 44.2 seconds left in the period.

Rasmus Andersson got the other assist.

 

Video: CGY@EDM: Mangiapane nets second goal on backhand

 

Robinson nearly scored his first with the big club when he one-timed a pass from childhood pal Gaudreau, but Smith was able to come across the net to make the stop.

The Oilers got a powerplay opportunity when the Flames were tagged for a Too Many Men call, but couldn't convert.

On another Edmonton advantage later in the period, Derek Ryan was sprung on a short-handed breakaway but Smith robbed him with a stellar gove save. 

Matt Benning scored his first of the season with 8:01 left to tie it up, firing one through Rittich's five-hole.

The Flames killed off a late two-minute holding minor to Robinson at 4:01 of the third to force overtime.

In OT, both goalies made huge stops: Rittich stoning Draisaitl on a breakaway, and Smith returning the treatment to TJ Brodie.

 

THEY SAID IT:

 

TKACHUK ON HIS FIGHT WITH KASSIAN:

"It had nothing to do with the hits or anything like that. I just didn't like getting pummelled at home like I did. A lot of people didn't want me to do it, but I wanted to. It's kind of a way to stick up for myself. It didn't have anything to do with owing anybody anything, I was just doing it for myself."

 

Video: "It's kind of a way to stick up for myself"

 

TKACHUK ON WHAT LED TO HIS DECISION TO DROP THE MITTS:

"I wanted to do it earlier and he said no. ... After the other fight, I think he wanted in on the action and I said, 'Sure, I'll do it.' ... I just wanted to stick up for myself. Everytime somebody said 'Don't do it,' it kind of made me want to do it more."

GEOFF WARD ON TKACHUK'S NIGHT OVERALL:

"I'm not one to tell players what to do and what not to do. Players have to be comfortable playing the way that they do. Pretty gutsy by him to stand up and do it. He's a tough competitor and he showed that tonight in the game."

SEAN MONAHAN ON HIS FIRST NHL FIGHT:

"I think I was going to get a penalty, so I didn't want us to go short-handed. I just decided to drop the gloves and it happened. ... I felt good. I fought before in junior, but yeah, it's been a long time. The emotion gets the best of you and sometimes it happens."

 

Video: Sean Monahan breaks down his first NHL fight

 

DAVID RITTICH ON HIS EMPHATIC 'STICK-FLIP' CELLY:

"It's awesome. Those three guys who went in the shootout are really good players. Two are top in the league, so it's really good they didn't score and we took two points here. ... I don't really care who's against us. I want to win every game. Whether it's Oilers or (anybody else), I just want to win. To get it against our division, it's really good. We got two points here that's huge for us."

WARD ON MANGIAPANE'S BIG EFFORT:

"He was good in here the last time and was good in here again tonight. He puts himself in good positions to shoot. On the first one, it's a quick release. On the second one, he's got some poise to carry it across the crease and wait with Smitty down and put it in. A couple good goals by him. We've talked about it a lot. Defensively, he's been playing well, but now he's starting to have real poise offensively and we're starting to see goals like he scored tonight."

 

Video: "Pretty gutsy by (Tkachuk) to stand up and do it."

 

 

ONE-TIMERS:

Monahan recorded his 400th career point Tuesday night with his two-goal performance against the Blues. Monahan (25 years, 108 days) is now the second youngest Flame in franchise history to reach 400 points with the Flames. Guy Chouinard (25 years, 69 days) in 1980 is still the youngest to notch 400 ... The Flames now have a record of 3-4-0 in the second game of a back-to-back this season. Calgary will have three more BTBs this season, with the next one coming Feb. 12-13 ... Calgary is 15-12-4 against Western Conference opponents, 8-6-1 against the Pacific Division.

 

Video: Mangiapane scores twice in 4-3 Flames win

 

THE LINEUP:

 

Trios and d-pairings to start the game:

FORWARDS

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Buddy Robinson

Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane

Milan Lucic - Mikael Backlund - Sam Bennett

Zac Rinaldo - Derek Ryan - Tobias Rieder

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson

GOALIE

David Rittich

 

NEXT UP:

You only have to wait a few days for a rematch between these arch-rivals. The Flames host the Oilers at the Scotiabank Saddledome Saturday night (click here for tickets). Sure, it sounds cliche and all, but you LITERALLY do not want to miss this game.  

The Flames will finish off a three-game homestand when they host the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 4 (click here for tickets), and the Nashville Predators on Feb. 6 (click here for tickets). 

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