CALGARY, AB -
What seemed to be a pending Calgary Flames victory, in the first 'Battle of Alberta' matchup of the season, turned into an exciting third period comeback by the Oilers as the visitors from Edmonton downed their rivals 4-2.
"We had some responses early that our group needed, but we couldn't get it done," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "We were under heavy pressure… It took them until the third to get their feet underneath them."
The Calgary Flames struck first on a great passing performance by Jiri Hudler and the skilled rookie Sean Monahan. The rookie passed the puck to Hudler in the slot who passed it back in close to Monahan who found twine behind Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Monahan's goal at 12:23 was his eighth of the season.
Tempers were flaring early in this game as Luke Gazdic and Brian McGrattan squared off in a long tilt. Later in the first, Oilers Captain Andrew Ference went after Lee Stempniak after the Flame levelled a huge hit on the Oiler.
"I thought Luke Gazdic and Andrew Ference's responses tonight were excellent and went a long way to igniting our team," said the Oilers bench boss.
The Flames got the 2-0 jump on the Oilers at 17:08 of the second period courtesy of Dennis Wideman as he went bar down through traffic on Dubnyk, banking the puck in off of the crossbar. Wideman's goal was assisted by Matt Stajan and Sven Baertschi. It was Wideman's second goal of the season.
Then the Oilers got their first of the night 3:41 into the third period as Taylor Hall found Jordan Eberle with a nice pass and the Oilers forward buried a nice shot far side of Reto Berra and over the shoulder of the Flames goalie. Anton Belov earned the secondary assist.
Edmonton grabbed the equalizer at 8:18 of the final frame as Ales Hemsky redirected the puck in from in close on Berra. Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner earned the assists on the game-tying goal.
Then, with under ten minutes remaining, David Perron scored the go-ahead goal for the Oilers. With three-straight third period goals, the Oilers would steal a 3-2 lead.
"It's a nice feeling," said Perron. "There were times in the year where we felt we'd have a better result with the way we played. I think tonight is the opposite. They played a better game than us for the most part and we were able to come back in the third. Obviously, we had control of that for the last 10 to 15 minutes but that's something we need to have for the better part of the game. It's good to get two points."
Boyd Gordon would score the empty-netter with under a minute to play to ice the game, 4-2.
Devan Dubnyk stood tall for the Oilers in the third period, he'd make 33 saves in the win.
"When goals go in you always look to the goalie and he's probably taken a lot of unnecessary heat… But tonight he was excellent when we needed him, and that's what you need from your goalie. When the team is a little lethargic, you need your goalie to keep you in there, and that's what he did through the first two periods," said Eakins.