Skip to main content

Smyth, Dubnyk lead Oilers past Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Edmonton Oilers put only one puck behind Calgary Flames goaltender Reto Berra on Friday night.

That was all they needed.

Ryan Smyth's first of two goals held up, and Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season, lifting the Oilers to a 2-0 victory in the Battle of Alberta at Scotiabank Saddledome.

"That's a key in any game is your goaltenders have to be probably your best player," said Smyth, who added an empty-netter with Berra on the bench. "Both of them were. It was a battle tonight.

"We had some chances and we made the most of it with a couple of them. I thought we stuck to the system right through and obviously Dubnyk made some key saves at the right times."

After the Oilers snapped a six-game losing streak against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, Dubnyk, a Calgary native, helped his team post back-to-back wins for the third time this season.

"It's always fun to play here," Dubnyk said. "Obviously I've lived a lot of years here. It's always fun to win but this is my first shutout here. It's something special."

Dubnyk's heroics made Smyth's first-period goal the game-winner.

Smyth was standing to the right of Berra when he chested Ales Hemsky's high centering feed into the net 17:22 into the game. The goal stood after a lengthy review and put the Oilers up 1-0.

"I actually went to the net and I just flinched and it hit the side of my chest, luckily," Smyth said.

The goal was a measure of revenge for Smyth, who saw an earlier power-play opportunity taken away after Chris Butler poked the puck off the stick of the Oilers forward while he was staring at an empty net.

It also came after Mark Giordano thought he put the Flames on the board at 14:53.

Joe Colborne and David Jones failed to connect on a 2-on-1 rush, but the play continued in Edmonton's zone and Giordano got ahold of the puck at the blue line. He unleashed a wrister that beat Dubnyk but was immediately waived off after Colborne impeded Dubnyk's movement.

"I've got to be careful with what I say, I'm a rookie so I don't want to get into it too much but that's a tough one," Colborne said. "I thought Giordano made a good play faking the shot and I think that is what caused Dubnyk to go down and have to move. I don't think it was me but that's something we're going to have to look at on the video."

From the crease, Dubnyk saw the play differently.

"It's a great call," he said. "Obviously being here [in Calgary], nobody likes it. It would've been an easy one for him to let go because it wasn't too noticeable but he comes through the crease and spins me sideways on the original play which if he hadn't of done that, then I wouldn't have been sprawling and stretching out and it wouldn't have gone under my arm."

Though the Flames pressed, Edmonton kept Calgary off the board.

The best scoring opportunity of the second period came off the stick of the Oilers.

After the Flames hemmed the Oilers in their own zone for a shift, a cleared puck got behind the duo of Shane O'Brien and Christopher Breen, springing Anton Lander on a breakaway. Berra stared down Lander before kicking out his right pad to keep the Flames within one.

After Berra turned aside Luke Gazdic before wrestling away Nail Yakupov's rebound attempt four minutes into the third, Giordano came close again, skipping a shot off the glove of Dubnyk and the crossbar.

Dubnyk denied Giordano again with 3:36 remaining, trapping the wrister of the Flames captain under his pads.

Though Giordano scored with 4.2 seconds remaining to force overtime in Calgary's 4-3 shootout win against the St. Louis Blues on Monday, the Flames couldn't replicate the comeback with Berra on the bench for a sixth skater.

Giordano's tripping minor with 19:02 of the third forced Berra back to the crease. Smyth found the empty net with 5.8 seconds remaining to drop Calgary to 1-14-2 when trailing after two periods and hand them their second loss in three games of the Battle of Alberta this season.

"The bottom line is we didn't play a very good game," coach Bob Hartley said. "I don't think we gave ourselves a chance to win. I didn't think we had our usual jump, whether it's the break or whatever reason, it was the same for the Oilers. They got that first goal and we tried to make a push, but I don't think we were at our best tonight, so we didn't really deserve to win."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.