EDMONTON - It certainly hasn't been the usual suspects leading the way for the Calgary Flames through the pre-season.
David Moss and Dustin Boyd have been the go-to guys for the Flames in exhibition action and it was Moss with a two-goal performance to lead the Flames to their fourth consecutive pre-season win, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Tuesday. Dion Phaneuf and Eric Nystrom also scored and goalie Curtis McElhinney earned the shutout with a meager 19 stops to help the Flames improve to 4-1 in pre-season play.
Moss and Boyd share the team lead with seven points in four games apiece as both try to make a case to become regulars in the Calgary lineup this season.
The two goals from Moss gave the Michigan native four in pre-season play, equaling his total number of goals in 41 regular season NHL games last season.
"It gives me a lot of confidence out there," said the Flames' seventh-round draft choice from 2001. "It's still the pre-season and you can't read a lot into it. You just have to keep working hard and if you are playing well now hopefully it carries over into the regular season, and you are still helping the team."
Another area where the Flames are definitely helping themselves is on the penalty kill. Calgary was a perfect 8-8 in short-handed situations against the Oilers and have not allowed an opposition power-play goal in the pre-season, a perfect 29-for-29.
"We take some pride in that," McElhinney said. "If you are doing well, you are eliminating a lot of chances for the other team. The fact that we haven't allowed one, that's nice to see and hopefully it carries over."
"That was one area we wanted to improve upon this season," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan. "We've had great success to this point in the season using a lot of different combinations, a lot of different people."
The Oilers, who dressed their top two lines, are now 1-2-2 in exhibition action and not pleased with their performance.
"If we have these habits now and are making these mistakes now it is going to cost us later," said Oilers second-year forward Andrew Cogliano. "We need to clean up our game big time. We really have to bear down and getting going."
Edmonton head coach Craig MacTavish said it changes how he treats the rest of the pre-season as he needs his veterans to get on the same page sooner rather than later.
"It was a dismal performance," he said. "But it may not be a bad thing to have at this time of the year as it collectively gives everyone a kick in the rear end.
"They took it to us in nearly every facet of the game. It's a good motivator for us. Or it better be."
Calgary started the scoring five minutes into the opening frame as Lubomir Visnovsky's attempt to clear the puck while shorthanded was tipped by Daymond Langkow and picked up by Phaneuf, who wristed a shot through the legs of Oilers starter Dwayne Roloson for the 1-0 lead.
The Flames would have loved to have had a video replay late in the period as an Adrian Aucoin shot snuck past Roloson and was oozing its way into the net and looked to have inched over the goal-line before being swept away by Carl Corazzini to keep it a one-goal game.
"We might have been a bit lucky there," said Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert. "That was as close as it can possibly get."
Calgary went ahead 2-0 after some prolonged pressure early in the second as Dustin Boyd wheeled behind the net and fed it in front to Moss who had an easy tap-in.
The Flames took a three-goal lead 10 minutes later on another soft-looking goal as Andre Roy sent it in front and Nystrom one-timed it past Roloson.
And with four minutes remaining in the second they put the game completely out of reach on a nice give-and-go passing play with Curtis Glencross sending it across to Moss who scored his second of the contest on a hard shot glove-side on Roloson.
Calgary outshot Edmonton 31-12 through the first 40 minutes.
Devan Dubnyk came in to replace Roloson for the scoreless third.
The Flames are in Vancouver on Wednesday while the Oilers next game is in Calgary on Thursday.
NOTES: The Oilers have made a move to address team toughness, claiming defenceman Steve MacIntyre off waivers from Florida. The 6-6, 265-pound native of Brock, Sask., has seen playing time at both defence and forward during his career. Now in his eighth pro season, the 28-year-old had 213 penalty minutes last season with Providence of the AHL.