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RECAP: Oilers 2 at Flames 1

Slepyshev's goal early in the third breaks a 0-0 tie and Oilers hold on for a 2-1 victory on the road

by Marc Ciampa / EdmontonOilers.com

CALGARY -- Anton Slepyshev scored 8 minutes into the third period to help break a scoreless tie and lead the Oilers to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night.

Jonas Gustavsson made 11 saves while Laurent Brossoit turned away 21 in the contest.  

"I think it's what you would expect out of your first preseason game. It probably lacked a little bit of polish and some of the speed to our game," said Letestu. "We were good early, they had a good push in the second but our goaltending was outstanding tonight. Both of them. Big key saves at a lot of good times and they were the key to a lot of the penalty killing."

Oilers head coach for the night, Jay Woodcroft, also beamed about the goaltending he received. 

"I thought both of them acquitted themselves very nicely. There were some prolonged shifts in the D-zone where we got hemmed in and our goaltenders handled it. They did a great job on the penalty kill as well. Both of them gave us a chance to win the game and they should be proud of their effort."

After almost 48 minutes with no goal for either team, Edmonton capitalized on the man advantage to break the stalemate. Anton Slepyshev took advantage of a wild bounce off the end boards after Darnell Nurse's shot went wide and he put it in short side past Flames netminder Mason McDonald. Dillon Dube was in the box for Calgary, serving a tripping minor. 

The Slepyshev goal came after the Flames carried the play for most of the third period, outshooting Edmonton 6-1 in the period's opening three minutes.

Mark Letestu took a penalty with less than four minutes to go in the third, giving the Flames their best chance by far to tie things up but again, the team's penalty killing was huge.

Sallinen and Letestu skated in on a two-on-one with an empty net in front of them. Sallinen made no mistake, firing the puck into the open cage.  

Josh Currie took a five-minute penalty for spearing Matthew Tkachuk right after the Sallinen goal. He also got two for roughing, giving the Flames a two-man advantage to wind things down.

On the ensuing man advantage, Mark Giordano scored with nine seconds left in the game to make things interesting.  

Shots on goal in the game were 33-21 for Calgary.     

3:35 into the game, the Oilers received the game's first power play after Matthew Tkachuk got called for hooking. Calgary was able to kill it off, however. 

Near the midway point of the first, the best chance for either team for the first 40 minutes occurred as Matt Hendricks wired a shot off the crossbar. 

Less than a minute later, Anton Slepyshev headed to the box to put the Flames up a man but penalty killers also stood tall for the visitors. 

The Oilers PK unit were even more impressive in the final two minutes of the first as Brandon Davidson and Josh Currie both went to the box but it was once again killed off. 

"I thought Gus did a heck of a job. He's got a real calming presence in there. He came up with some big saves. Not just on that five-on-three kill, but also on five-on-five and shorthanded he made a heck of a big save," Woodcroft continued. "It had a calming effect on our group. He has that presence about him and you could see that both goalies - our team played hard for both goalies. We're proud of their effort."

Shots after one period were 8-5 for the Flames. 

It looked like the Flames had broken the deadlock over three minutes into the middle frame as Troy Brouwer shoveled it past Gustavsson but it was ruled no goal due to incidental contact goaltender interference.

Gustavsson made a huge stop on Sam Bennett after the Flames forward snuck in behind the Oilers defence. Bennett tried to muscle the puck on goal during his partial breakaway.

"First game of the year is always a little rusty. You're trying to find your groove and all that," Gustavsson stated. "I thought the guys helped me, too. It felt alright. I felt better and better the longer the game went on. It was a good start." 

Laurent Brossoit came in to replace Gustavsson in goal 9:40 into the second. Gustavsson stopped all 11 shots he faced. Brian Elliott remained in goal for the Flames. 

Braden Christoffer and Ryan Lomberg dropped the gloves at centre ice in a spirited fight with 8:03 to go in the second that saw neither combatant give much to the other. Result was five minutes in the box for each.

Brossoit came up big with a series of stops late in the second as the Flames started to dial up the pressure. After shots were even at 11-11, they moved to 16-12 and that's where it sat after 40.

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