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GAME STORY: Oilers 8, Flames 3

Tensions flared in an 8-3 victory for the Oilers in the Battle of Alberta at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

CALGARY, AB - This wasn't just a battle - it was an all-out war.

Alberta's most historic rivalry, built up over decades of animosity and fuelled by a ravenous pursuit for two points on Saturday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, reached a breaking point.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game at CGY 02.01.20

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The Oilers continue on to Arizona to face the Coyotes on Tuesday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet One and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. MT.

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A night that saw 11 goals, 100 penalty minutes, and a penalty shot in an 8-3 thrashing of the Calgary Flames by the Edmonton Oilers was encapsulated with 24 seconds left in a riveting second period that saw goaltenders Mike Smith and Cam Talbot drop the blocker and gloves at centre ice.

"Old fashioned hockey right there," Smith, who made 15 saves on 18 shots, said after the dust had settled."Those are fun games to play in. Not with all the fighting and stuff, obviously that's part of it, but just high-intensity hockey."

"Those are important points for our team."

After entering Saturday's tilt winless against their provincial rivals this season (0-2-1), it was a rallying victory for the Oilers.

"Everyone was willing to go the distance for the win," Ethan Bear, who had an assist and dropped the gloves with Matthew Tkachuk in the win, said. "We had lost three games to thee guys, so it was a big one for us. We were coming in with everything we had."

The two points for the Oilers when all was said and done improves their record in their last 11 games to 8-1-2 and 28-18-6 on the season, taking sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division ­ahead of the Flames.

"We got through the half-way point and made a couple of adjustments on things," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We kind of tweaked our lines a bit and really got into a rhythm. We've played well and our team feels a little more balanced right now. Our goaltending's been solid, so it's been a real team effort."

Amidst all the commotion, the boys in Blue & Orange held their own in every battle - both big and small.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Mike Smith 02.01.20

"Those are the games that bring your group together," Sam Gagner, who tallied one of the eight Oilers goals, said. "Everyone was staying in the fight, everyone was sticking up for each other, and we played a great game. That was the main thing."

Buried beneath the rubble of a dramatic provincial showdown was a four-assist night for Leon Draisaitl, who moved to 83 points atop the NHL's scoring race. Captain Connor McDavid had two goals, and Gaetan Haas scored late on a penalty shot to cap off a game for the ages.

From the onset of the clash, the Oilers took it to the Flames with two goals in the opening 1:05 of play.

Video: McDavid, Draisaitl lead Oilers to 8-3 victory

"It was a good first period from us," Draisaitl said. "Obviously a good start. I think we've been learning that part of the game. We're starting better and start on time. It's showing."

Kailer Yamamoto scored his fifth goal in 11 games since his call-up from Bakersfield 29 seconds into the game off a net-front feed from Oscar Klefbom before Zack Kassian followed up next shit for a quick 2-0 Oilers advantage.

Centre Gaetan Haas was awarded a penalty shot in the final two minutes that the Swiss product buried five-hole for his fifth marker of the campaign.

"There was a good feeling in here after this game. I'll just put it that way," Smith said. "The energy was probably unlike what we've seen this year from our group, and that can only make our group stronger in here and better as a team."

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