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Frolik's hat trick lifts Flames past Oilers

by Derek Van Diest /

EDMONTON -- Calgary Flames forward Michael Frolik completed his first NHL hat trick in dramatic style against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday.

Frolik scored with 8.7 seconds left to give Calgary a 5-4 victory against the Oilers, ending the Flames' four-game losing streak.

Frolik, signed as a free agent during the summer, broke a 4-4 tie when his bad-angled shot from the left corner banked into the net off Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. Frolik entered the night with 26 shots, but no goals.

"The puck was rimmed in and [Matt] Stajan went to battle for it and I kind of came to help him," Frolik said. "I had a bit of a battle and I just tried to shoot it off his pads and it went in. It was kind of a lucky goal, but it was a big one."

Edmonton had battled back from three separate two-goal deficits to tie the game, which appeared headed into overtime before Frolik's goal.

"From the bench we couldn't tell if the puck was inside the net or on the outside of the net, but once we saw the guys jump on the ice, then we knew it was in, so it was a pretty good feeling," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We knew that they have so much speed and they kept coming. After they scored on that power play early in the third period, we knew they would get the momentum. The crowd was behind them, they got the equalizer and we kept going. Michael Frolik gave us quite a game tonight."

Defenseman T.J. Brodie had a goal and an assist and Brandon Bollig also scored for Calgary (3-8-1). Goaltender Karri Ramo, recalled from Stockton of the American Hockey League on Thursday after being waived earlier this month, made 19 saves.

Taylor Hall, Brandon Davidson, Teddy Purcell and Leon Draisaitl scored for Edmonton (4-8-0), which trailed 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. Talbot made 27 saves.

"I saw [Frolik] look up at the net and knew he was going to try and bank it," Talbot said. "I tried to hug the post the best I could and not give him any holes but he found one on me. There's no excuses; that puck can't cross the line. Points aren't easy to come by and we did a great job of battling back in the third. It's just really deflating giving up that goal with eight seconds left. We were close to a point and to be able to fight for a second one [in overtime] and we come out with nothing thanks to me."

Bollig scored on the Flames' first shot of the game at 1:58, tipping Brodie's point shot past Talbot for his first goal of the season for a 1-0 lead.

Frolik put Calgary up 2-0 at 11:34, capitalizing on a mistake by Talbot behind the Oilers net. Talbot came out to play the puck and inadvertently kicked it to Stajan, who found Frolik in front of an open net.

Hall scored at 13:15 to cut the lead to 2-1, tipping a shot from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins past Ramo on the power play.

"It's really disappointing to go behind 2-0, 3-0 every game," said Hall, who also had two assists. "It forces you to play a perfect game from there on. It's really hard to do that. I thought we played well after we got down, but it's too hard to play like that."

Frolik gave Calgary a 3-1 lead at 17:27 when a shot by defenseman Kris Russell hit his skate and deflected into the net.

Edmonton believed it had cut the Flames' lead to 3-2 on a goal from Benoit Pouliot at 4:12 of the second period after the Oilers left wing put in the rebound of a shot by Mark Letestu. But Hartley challenged the goal due to goaltender interference and won; Letestu was ruled to have interfered with Ramo, and the goal was waved off.

"Our video coach has the green light, we have a process that we go through on challenges and whether it's a goal for or a goal against, it's a huge part of the game," Hartley said. "And with so many one-goal games, I think it's worth the investment."

Oilers coach Todd McLellan unhappily accepted the call.

"We're at the mercy of the calls, there is nothing we can do," McLellan said. "My personal opinion, and I am an Oiler and a little biased, but I didn't think there was a lot of contact. I didn't know that any type of contact that was made would impede the goaltender from making the save. But I may be wearing orange glasses [Oilers' colors] instead of black and white through the referees' eyes."

Davidson cut the lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 10:38, stepping into a point shot that sailed over the shoulder of Ramo.

Brodie put Calgary up 4-2 at 16:30 with a power-play goal, taking a pass in the slot from center Sam Bennett and snapping a shot past Talbot.

But Purcell scored a power-play goal 48 seconds into the third period to cut the Flames' lead to 4-3. Nugent-Hopkins attempted a centering pass that went off a skate and right to Purcell, who fired a shot past Ramo.

Calgary had a goal waved off at 6:15, when right wing David Jones was ruled to have interfered with Talbot on a point shot from Brodie. The Flames challenged the call, but upon review, it stood and the goal did not count. Draisaitl tied the game 35 seconds later, taking a cross-ice pass from Hall on a rush and beating Ramo.

"That's something we have to change, we can't get down and try to come back every single night," Draisaitl said. "We have to try and take a two-goal lead and see how it goes from there."

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