The Oilers return home where they will face the LA Kings on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. MDT and it can be seen on various Sportsnet channels or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
EDMONTON, AB – Markus Granlund scored twice and Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in a 4-0 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.
The already injury-riddled Oilers went down another key player just prior to warmups. It was announced by the team before the game that their top centre, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, would not dress due to a lower body ailment. Taylor Hall shifted to centre between Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle.
Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said after the game that Nugent-Hopkins is day to day.
In addition to Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers were without veteran defencemen Andrew Ference, Mark Fayne and Nikita Nikitin, as well as Boyd Gordon.
“It’s a tough road right now with the injuries and such but I give a lot of credit to the guys getting called up. They’re playing hard, they’re doing everything they can to help us get victories,” said Oilers winger Matt Hendricks.
Early in the first, the Flames suffered a significant injury of their own. Starting goaltender Kari Ramo had to be helped off the ice just 58 seconds into the game after pulling up lame. Jonas Hiller replaced Ramo in net.
The early setback didn’t stop the Flames from jumping on top of the Oilers in the first. With Ben Scrivens tied up at the top of the crease, Joe Colborne put away a loose puck at 1:59 for the 1-0 lead. Mason Raymond and Dennis Wideman each recorded assists.
“The first goal against was a bit of a bad break,” said Nelson. “The score doesn’t indicate it but all in all, I thought we did a pretty good job. The difference in the game is that they capitalized on their opportunities. We had some excellent chances where we missed the net. We had two times where we had players all alone in front of the goalie, by themselves, and we never got a shot on net. The score could have been a lot different.”
Although they trailed early in the opening period, the Oilers turned things around and had several scoring chances in the first. They outshot the Flames 11-8 in the first frame.
With 8:36 remaining in the second period, Scrivens flashed the glove to rob Josh Jooris on a breakaway, following an Oilers turnover at the blueline.
Scrivens couldn’t, however, stop Markus Granlund’s shot at 17:56 of the second period. The goaltender dove on the ice but Granlund pick his spot high and gave Calgary a 2-0 lead. Jooris recorded the lone assist.
“They’re an opportunistic team and they get chances,” said Hall. “If they get enough chances they’re going to score a couple. We didn’t get enough traffic to their net and we’ve got to do a better job of eliminating some of their chances in our slot.”
The first penalty of the game didn’t come until 2:10 of the third period. Unfortunately for the Oilers, it came at their expense. With Keith Aulie in the box for cross checking Colborne, Monahan won the next faceoff. Kris Russell passed it over to Wideman, who fired a shot from the top of the left circle past Scrivens.
“I think once they scored their third goal, the power play goal, our bench got a bit deflated and they did a good job keeping us to the outside,” said Nelson. “We had our opportunities. You’ve got to give their goalie credit. It was just one of those games where we couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Granlund potted his second goal of the night at 18:52 of the third, again assisted by Jooris.
That would be all she wrote as the Flames took the 3-0 win, helping them in the Western Conference playoff race. Scrivens finished with 25 saves.