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RECAP: Flames 5, Oilers 4

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, AB – Michael Frolik came into the game without a goal but he’d score three to help lift Calgary to a wild 5-4 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.

The Oilers dug themselves a 2-0 hole, but were able to draw within one on three separate occasions. They tied the game in the third, but couldn’t complete the rally. It marked the second straight game in which the Oilers allowed a multi-goal lead to the other team but battled back to tie at some point. On Thursday night, the comeback resulted in a win against Montreal but they couldn’t duplicate the success.

“It’s too tough of a league to come back on teams when you dig yourselves a hole like that,” said Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “Obviously, it’s great to see we do have that compete that we can come back in games but we only want to be coming back when the other team really puts the pressure on us and they get a couple goals quick. We’ve got to be able to find that pushback but we can’t dig ourselves a hole where we just give them a couple goals and then expect to be able to comeback. It’s too good of a league to be able to do that.”

Brandon Bollig put the visitors up 1-0 at 1:58 of the first period. Mason Raymond passed the puck back to TJ Brodie who saw his shot tipped in front by Bollig past Cam Talbot.

A scrum around the Oilers net led to off-setting minors for the teams. Talbot flashed the glove at 4:23 of the first to make a nice save and keep it a one-goal game.

The Flames made it 2-0 courtesy of a wide-open net. Talbot left to play the puck behind, but Matt Stajan got there first and set Frolik up in front for the easy tap-in goal.

“I was disappointed in the first period,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “We had some momentum and a build from the Montreal game. We should have come with a ton of energy and passion and imposed our will on a team that was playing five in seven. I didn’t think we had a lot of emotion, a lot of drive, a lot of energy. Give the group credit for working and not quitting again and coming back but that’s a bad recipe. We should smell blood and we should be going after it. We had no idea what that scent was tonight.”

13:15 into the game, Taylor Hall drew the Oilers within one. Nugent-Hopkins shot from the top of the circle and Hall got a piece of it to make it 2-1. With the goal, both Hall and Nugent-Hopkins extended their point streaks to five games. Leon Draisaitl recorded the second assist.

The Flames went back up by two with 2:33 left in the opening frame. Frolik tipped the puck in, assisted by Kris Russell and Josh Jooris.

A late penalty at the end of the first resulted in a flurry of Oilers chances on Karri Ramo but they couldn’t bury or put the puck on net.

The Oilers hit the post on a power play in the second period as well that could have made it a 3-2 game. They got the goal back though moments later, or so they thought.

Connor McDavid tossed the puck out in front on the power play and Mark Letestu shot it. The rebound came out to Benoit Pouliot who buried to pull the Oilers within one. However, Flames Head Coach Bob Hartley challenged on the grounds of goalie interference. The play was reviewed and the goal was taken away from the Oilers, causing the home crowd to erupt in disagreement.

10:38 into the second, the #Oilers got that goal to pull within one. Teddy Purcell set up a waiting Brandon Davidson for a rocket one-timer that burned its way past Ramo. Hall recorded the second assist on the power play tally.

Brodie’s shot through traffic with 3:30 left in the second gave Calgary a 4-2 lead, on the power play.

It took just 48 seconds into the third for the offence to continue. On the power play, Purcell potted a goal from below the circle assisted by Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl. Purcell’s tally made it a 4-3 game.

The Flames challenged another goal in the third period, contesting there was no goaltender interference this time around. The no goal stood and the Oilers breathed a sigh of relief.

Hall set up Draisaitl with a beautiful feed, right on the tape, for the 20-year-old forward’s third goal in two games since being recalled from the Bakersfield Condors on Thursday. That equalizer at 6:40 made it 4-4.

In heartbreaking fashion for the Oilers, Frolik scored short side of Talbot with just 8.7 seconds remaining for his hat trick and the deciding tally.

“Guy was below the goalline, I saw him look up at the net, knew he was going to try and bank it. I tried to hug my post as best I can and not give him any holes but he found one on me,” said Talbot.

The Oilers won’t have an opportunity to bounce back until Tuesday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m. MT.
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