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Taylor Hall lifts Edmonton Oilers over Calgary Flames 2-1 in pre-season play

NHL.com @NHL

EDMONTON - Taylor Hall scored the winner with 1:17 remaining as the Edmonton Oilers got past the provincial rival Calgary Flames 2-1 on Saturday in NHL pre-season play.

With the scored tied 1-1, fellow first-overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did some dancing to get a shot towards the net that hit a Flames defender and ended up on Hall's stick in front.

Ryan Jones also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 2-2-0 in exhibition action.

Rene Bourque scored in response for the Flames, who fell to 1-2-0 in pre-season play.

There was no scoring in a largely uneventful first period. Edmonton had six shots on Calgary goalie Leland Irving to five Flames shots on Oilers starter Nikolai Khabibulin.

The veteran Oilers goalie ? who allowed three goals on his first seven shots in his first pre-season start ? looked a lot better in the early running against Calgary. Of note was a huge kick save on a 2-on-1 opportunity for Matt Stajan six minutes into the second period.

However, the Flames were able to get one past him to start the scoring just two minutes later as a hard blast from the top of the circle by Bourque beat Khabibulin low to the glove side.

Calgary almost made it a two-goal game with three minutes left in the second period as a shot by Lee Stempniak got past Khabibulin but hit the post.

The Oilers managed to tie the game with just seven seconds remaining in the second as Jones beat Stempniak to a loose puck and scored a short-handed goal on a backhand through Irving's legs.

Of concern for the Oilers in the second was the loss of centre Sam Gagner, who left the game after a hit along the boards by Brendan Mikkelson. The early word was a left ankle injury.

Calgary came close to regaining the lead early in the second as Anton Lander had his pocket picked in front of the Oiler net by Sven Baertschi, forcing Khabibulin to make a huge glove save.

The two teams face each other again on Sunday in Calgary.

Notes: Edmonton forward Ales Hemsky, who has been limited to just 69 games in the last two seasons due to injuries, has been cleared for contact and could play as early as Sunday??? Given a good chance to showcase his skills on the Oilers first line with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins was Teemu Hartikainen??? Making his debut with Edmonton after an off-season trade with Anaheim was hulking defenceman Andy Sutton??? Flame Maxwell Reinhart made his pre-season debut for the team following fighting an illness in the early parts of camp. Reinhart stood out at the Young Stars rookie tournament earlier this month and had immediate chemistry with Sven Baertschi??? Absent from the rookie-heavy Flames lineup were the likes of Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay, Jay Bouwmeester and Miikka Kiprusoff... Oiler legend Wayne Gretzky, who headlined a banquet in Edmonton on Friday night, took in the morning skate and the game alongside Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe.

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