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Flames 4, Oilers 1 @NHLdotcom

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Kristian Huselius gave the Calgary Flames some much-needed breathing room heading into the final stretch of the season.

Huselius scored twice in the second period to lead the Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

"We were ready from the start," said Huselius, who had his first two-goal game since being acquired from Florida on Dec. 2. "But it's going to be tough down the stretch."

Daymond Langkow had a goal and an assist and Andrew Ference also scored for Calgary, which won its third straight game to open a four-point cushion atop the Northwest Division.

"Anytime they made a mistake, we tried to capitalize," Langkow said.

Shawn Horcoff scored for Edmonton, which remains in eighth place in the Western Conference. The Oilers gave up the puck numerous times in their own zone and dropped to 17-15-6 at Rexall Place.

"We seemed to lose composure as the game went on," Edmonton center Michael Peca said.

Calgary won five of eight (5-1-2) in the season series against the Oilers despite injuries to regulars Darren McCarty (groin), Jordan Leopold (groin), Marcus Nilson (knee), Mike Leclerc (broken wrist), Rhett Warrener (knee), and Jamie Lundmark (eye).

"We have been building on all the wins," said Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 25 saves to run his record to 5-1-2 against Edmonton this season.

"He's been doing that for us all year," Langkow said.

Dwayne Roloson allowed three goals on 12 shots in the opening two periods after his 13th straight start for Edmonton, falling to 5-5-3 since joining the team at the trade deadline.

Edmonton outshot Calgary 9-1 early in a physical first period en route to a 14-9 advantage through the first 20 minutes. However, the Flames scored the first goal after Langkow capitalized on Radek Dvorak's turnover on the team's fourth shot.

Huselius scored on both shots in a 2:44 span to open the second period, first off a rebound of Langkow's shot, then on a power play to end Edmonton's string of killing 31 straight penalties dating back to March 21.

Horcoff knocked the puck in from the side of the net later in the second period as Ales Hemsky got his 100th NHL assist.

A high-sticking penalty to Raffi Torres cost the Oilers a goal in the third period after the referees blew the play dead. Moments later Ference flipped in a long shot that got through a crowd for an unassisted power-play goal.

"It's a two-goal transition," Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said.

Georges Laraques pumped his arms after a second period scrap with Chris Simon and received a loud minutelong cheer from the Rexall Place sellout of 16,839.

Simon had taken offense to a check from Hemsky late in the first period and several players briefly wrestled.

Notes: Jarome Iginla played his 700th game for the Flames. ... Laraque played after missing two games with a strained hip flexor. ... Roloson, who played in Calgary from 1996-98, is 5-8-3 against his former team. ... Edmonton plays four of its final seven games on the road while Calgary is home for five of its last eight.

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