EDMONTON, AB -
In a wild game, fitting of the Battle of Alberta, the Edmonton Oilers scored with 11 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime, however the Flames would score at 3:14 of the extra time and take the 2-1 win.
"I think we wanted a little bit too much tonight," said Oilers defenceman Philip Larsen. "We had a lot of puck and I think we made it maybe a little harder than it was to get our chances. It's tough. You try to create chances all the time and when it doesn't go your way, you get frustrated. It's normal and I think we battled hard and tried to get the points. It was just one of those days that it is tough to get it in the net."
The Oilers struggled on the power play all night, finishing 0-for-6.
"Bottom line is, we have to be better on the power play," said Larsen. "We're at home, we've got the crowd with us, we've got the power play… The guys that are playing power play, including myself, we have to perform. We have to help the team in that way. We have a good power play. We needed some power play goals tonight and it kind of killed us a little bit."
Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins added, "I felt with our power play, that we'd get in there but we were having trouble with the puck, with our sticks. We couldn't settle the puck. We've got a ton of skill to pick from on both power plays, they're almost equal. We couldn't get that puck settled down. It was disappointing in that regard…"
Despite a first period in which the Oilers seemed to be in control, Calgary was the first team to get on the scoreboard.
At 16:00 of the first period, Lee Stempniak put the Flames on top 1-0. Stempniak picked up the loose puck at the Oilers blue line, broke in on goaltender Dubnyk and went top-shelf on the 2-on-1 rush. Matt Stajan would later be awarded the lone assist.
The Oilers ringed two shots off the posts to close out the first period, but couldn't get the equalizer.
Things heated up in the second period, with both teams getting their scoring chances, but Dubnyk and Reto Berra stood tall in net. The Oilers led in shots, 23-16 after the first 40 minutes.
"It seemed like they got up one goal and they were pretty content with that," said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. "They didn't really go after us for a lot of the night. They just kind of sat back, played their system and waited for us to turnover pucks and unfortunately, that's what happened. It's not like we played terrible. We did a few good things but just not the best effort from us."
The Oilers had 18 giveaways on the night and it was something their head coach said was a big reason for the loss.
"We were begging them," said Eakins. "Begging our guys to play a quicker game. We wanted to play that lateral game entering the zone. With Calgary playing last night, they were going to play a simple game and clog up the middle, we knew that. We kept turning over pucks and turning over pucks and I thought it cost us a ton of zone time. I thought this was going to be a great opportunity for us to spend a good part of the game in their zone and those turnovers cost us a ton of zone time and a ton of chances."
Things looked all wrapped up for the Calgary Flames until late in the third period when the Oilers pulled Dubnyk for the extra attacker.
In a fit of desperation with 10.1 seconds remaining, David Perron banked the puck off of Berra from behind the net. The puck grazed the Flames goaltender and landed right next to the diving Hall who found twine backdoor, to tie the game at 1-1.
"It's certainly a rush to score in the last minute," said Hall. "A big boost for your team and it's definitely one of those plays that you look back on. It could have been a game-changer but unfortunately they seemed to get a bounce in overtime and they put it in. It's not like we deserved the two points tonight. I though there was a lot of turnovers, by myself included, that we've got to fix and we kind of played into their hands for much of the night."
The game would head to overtime, courtesy of that wild finish to regulation.
The magic was not all on the Oilers side tonight though, as Jiri Hudler scored at 3:14 of overtime to close out the game.
"We had guys that were tired out there and I thought we were about to get a hold of the puck," said Eakins. "I thought (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) ended up tipping it past (Schultz)… It landed right on their guy's stick, backdoor and it was over."
Calgary defenceman Ladislav Smid, who was traded to the Flames by the Oilers on November 8, was all smiles in the dressing room following his new team's victory over his old teammates.
"It's an awesome feeling," said Smid. "It's a great feeling. We couldn't do it in regulation, but we're going to take those two points on any given day. It was, like I said, a great feeling to get those two points."