CALGARY - Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Robert Nilsson each scored second period power-play goals Friday night as the Edmonton Oilers remained perfect in three games this season with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Trailing 2-1, Edmonton seized control of the game in the second thanks to five consecutive power-play chances, three of which the Oilers capitalized on.
Cole got the Oilers back to even at 2-2 scoring at 6:30 tipping in a slapshot from Sheldon Souray.
With Todd Bertuzzi in the penalty box for holding, the Oilers took its first lead at 11:39 when Hemsky slid the puck back to the blue-line and Visnovsky one-timed a slapshot into the top corner beyond the glove of Miikka Kiprusoff.
Less than five minutes later, Edmonton struck with the extra man again. Kiprusoff was able to close his pads to stop a redirected shot from Denis Grebeshkov, but the rebound dribbled out to the side where Nilsson was right there to swoop in and rip the loose puck into the top of the net.
Calgary crept back to within a goal at 7:41 of the third period when Bertuzzi exhibited a quick set of hands fishing a loose puck out of a scramble and tucking it inside the goal post for his fourth goal of the season.
However, they couldn't get another goal past Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who won his first NHL start. After getting two great games from goaltender Mathieu Garon, Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish surprised many by starting the rookie goalie but it paid off as Drouin-Deslauriers made 26 saves for the victory.
Also scoring for Edmonton (3-0-0) was Andrew Cogliano. Adrian Aucoin and David Moss also scored for Calgary (1-2-1).
The two Northwest Division rivals lock up again Saturday night in Edmonton.
Calgary took a 2-1 lead 5:39 into the second on a sequence that was set up by a pair of body checks by Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf. First, Phaneuf levelled Kyle Brodziak at the Oilers blue-line. Later in the shift, rookie Oilers forward Steve MacIntyre was flattened. Shortly after the hit, David Moss scooped up a loose puck and wrist a shot past Drouin-Deslauriers from a sharp angle.
It appeared Calgary was going to escape the first period with a 1-0 lead despite being outshot when a sloppy Flames breakout attempt turned into in the tying goal for Edmonton. Aucoin's outlet pass to Moss was into his feet allowing Oilers defenceman Jason Strudwick to step up and intercept it. Strudwick promptly whipped a shot towards the net that was deflected by Cogliano.
Calgary opened the game's scoring at 6:53 of the first when Aucoin's shot from the blue-line slipped past a screened Drouin-Deslauriers. Although an unassisted goal, it came after a stretch of prolonged pressure in the Oilers zone by the speedy Flames line of Mike Cammelleri, Rene Bourque, and Matthew Lombardi, a trio which has been Calgary's most effective line so far in the opening month.
Souray did not play in the third period due to an undisclosed injury.
Notes: Kiprusoff had allowed at least one goal in his first 11 periods this season before shutting out Edmonton in the third. ... It is the first time in his career that Kiprusoff has given up four or more goals in four consecutive games. ... Nilsson's high-sticking penalty at 3:57 of the third ended a stretch of over four periods between shorthanded chances for Edmonton. They received 10 power-play chances during that span. ... Calgary and Edmonton are playing each other on consecutive nights for the first time since December 1992. ... For the second game in a row, Edmonton opted to dress rookie forward Steve MacIntyre in place of Zack Stortini.