The Oilers have their Skills Competition on Sunday beginning at noon. It will be broadcast live on edmontonoilers.com. Then the Oilers host Los Angeles on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m MST. It can be seen on Sportsnet West or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
CALGARY, AB – Flames young weapon Johnny Gaudreau helped his team build an early lead with two quick goals as the Oilers fell 4-1 in Calgary on Saturday night.
The Oilers almost got things started early when Jeff Petry found a streaking Taylor Hall out in front of Jonas Hiller less than two minutes into the game. Hall couldn’t get a quality shot off and the game remained scoreless.
At 7:08 of the first, the Flames opened the scoring. With Viktor Fasth sprawled on the ice after an initial pad save, Joe Colborne tracked down the rebound and placed it in the widely empty net. Paul Byron and Curtis Glencross earned the assists.
Then came the Gaudreau show. Gaudreau picked up the puck in the slot and scored one-on-one with Fasth at 8:32 of the opening frame.
The 21-year-old forward scored again just 16 seconds later. Gaudreau went on a breakaway and used his skills with the puck to pot his second of the night. Jiri Hudler and T.J. Brodie recorded assists on the goal as Calgary took a swift 3-0 lead.
“I’ve got to stop at least one of those to keep us in the game and I didn’t. That’s what I would like to have done,” Fasth said.
Ben Scrivens replaced Fasth in net after the goal.
The Oilers had a much better second period, outshooting the Flames 13-3. However, the Flames were able to coast as Hiller shut the door.
Now in desperation mode, the Oilers began the third period down by three. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave his team hope at 4:23 of the final frame. Justin Schultz fired a point shot and Nugent-Hopkins deflected it in from the slot, making it 3-1. Andrew Ference recorded the second assist. Schultz’s assist was his fourth point in his last five games.
Things heated up shortly at 8:24 of the third. After some saves by Scrivens, a scrum formed in front of the Oilers net. Dennis Wideman and Sean Monahan got called for roughing on Calgary’s side, while Ference and Matt Hendricks took the same penalties for the Oilers.
“I thought in the second period we started to get something going,” Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson said. “Then sat the start of the third I thought we came out real strong and had some offensive zone possession. We were creating some things and then we took a couple of penalties and that killed everything that we were building upon. From there, they ended up scoring that fourth goal and that was pretty much it.”
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Glencross scored to put the Flames up 4-1. Matt Stajan set up Glencross out in front with a pass from behind the net and Mark Giordano got the second helper.
That was the dagger, halting any momentum the Nugent-Hopkins goal could have brought the Oilers. In relief duty, Scrivens finished the game with 20 saves.
The Oilers will host their annual Skills Competition at Rexall Place on Sunday at noon. Then the Los Angeles Kings come to town on Tuesday night.