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Flames get late goal to beat Oilers 4-3 @NHLdotcom

Nikolai Khabibulin's debut with the Edmonton Oilers did little to endear him to his new fans.

Khabibulin misplayed a clearing pass and allowed David Moss to score the winning goal with 48.7 seconds left in regulation, giving the Calgary Flames a 4-3 victory on Saturday night, spoiling the Oilers' season-opener.

Edmonton rallied from a 3-1 deficit on goals by Gilbert Brule late in the second period and Sam Gagner with 6:59 remaining in regulation. The game appeared to be headed for overtime when Khabibulin came out to the left circle to play a long clearing pass, only to flub the puck and have Moss swat it into the wide-open net.

"It was one of those lucky breaks," said Moss, who also had a first-period power-play goal. "It was a rolling puck and I tried to force him to make a play. He just missed it."

Khabibulin, who signed a four-year deal with Edmonton this summer, was upset with himself for committing the gaffe after Edmonton had fought back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game.

"It doesn't feel very good right now," he said. "It feels like I lost at least a point for my team. I can't get it back right now. I still can't believe what just happened. There's no excuse."

Pat Quinn, making his debut behind the Oilers' bench, could hardly believe what happened.

"That's a hard way to lose a hockey game," he said. "I guess those things happen. I certainly don't like them or the fact that we lost. I didn't like any one of the goals tonight. Did we do some good things out there tonight? Sure. But we lost the hockey game."

Curtis Glencross and Nigel Dawes also scored for the Flames who improved to 2-0-0 on the season. The last time the Flames won two straight to start a season was 2001-02.

"It was a back and forth game," Calgary forward Craig Conroy said. "They got a big break to tie it up in the third and then we got an even bigger one to win it. So I guess that kind of evened out. We did a lot of good things and we made some mistakes too. But I felt we got better as the game went on."

Glencross opened the scoring 1:52 into the first period for the Flames, who came into the game after beating Vancouver 5-3 on Thursday night at home. Dustin Penner's wrist shot past Miikka Kiprusoff at 6:14 tied it at 1-1, but Moss put the Flames ahead with his power-play goal at 12:08.

Nigel Dawes added another power-play goal at 13:21 of the second period for a 3-1 lead. Brule made it a one-goal game again at 17:57, and Gagner capitalized on a bad hop off the boards to score the tying goal.

-- John Kreiser, Columnist

Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report

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