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RECAP: Oilers 5, Flames 3

The Oilers rode the momentum of a strong second period and survived a rally by the Flames to win 5-3 and move to 2-0-0 on the season

by Chris Wescott @TheChrisWescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers @ Flames Post-Game

CALGARY, AB - After a slow start in the first, Edmonton rallied to score three straight goals in the second and third. They held onto their lead, surviving a Flames rally, to win 5-3.

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The Oilers host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at 5 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on Sportsnet ONE and heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network. 

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Eager to avenge their season-opening loss to Edmonton on Wednesday, the Flames came out flying in the first period. They would outshoot Edmonton 24-12 in the opening frame.

"We didn't want to see much of the first period, but when you're playing on the road in the other team's home opener you know they're going to come out hard," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "I thought we were slow and a little hesitant, but over and above that we were able to bend but not break, which is a good sign for our team. We were able to apply some of the things we worked on in practice and you could see it help us in the game situation."

The Oilers win was largely led by two of their youngest players in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid had a goal and two assists, while Draisaitl had two goals and a helper. The Oilers offence has been great the first two games of the season, scoring seven goals in their opener and five tonight.

"It's definitely a sign. We have a lot of firepower up front," said Draisaitl. "We have D who can transport the puck, get the puck in our hands. So far it's been pretty successful."

Sean Monahan buried a rebound in the slot after Deryk Engelland's shot it the post to open scoring. Johnny Gaudreau tapped the rebound to record an assist, but Monahan finished.

Oilers forward Mark Letestu skated up centre on a breakaway moments later, but was stopped by the pad of Brian Elliott.

Elliott made several big saves early in the game to keep the Flames ahead. That was until 7:45 of the first when the Oilers captain made a big-time play.

McDavid continued to show his ridiculous speed in the open ice, as well as his great finish, scoring on a breakaway. McDavid was freed up centre by a Jordan Eberle feed and he scored a backhand beauty to even things up at 1-1. Kris Russell also notched an assist on the goal.

"I don't really know what to say. He's phenomenal," Draisaitl said of McDavid. "He's just that good. He just makes something happen every single shift out of nothing, where you think nothing is going on and he just creates a top grade-A chance. He's very special, and it's nice to have him on our side."

Video: Recap: EDM 5, CGY 3

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot made a big save on Alex Chiasson at 8:41, as the tie would hold until 11:35 when Michael Frolik potted his second goal of the season. Frolik's shot from the wall found its way through traffic and past Talbot.

There were some chippy moments in the first, with Oilers winger Patrick Maroon and Engelland wrapping each other up and nearly dropping the gloves. A scrum ensued by the Oilers net after the Talbot save on Chiasson as well. Maroon, along with Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian, had skated at centre ice during warmup and stared at the Flames skating by. The game had a real Battle of Alberta rivalry feel to it.

Edmonton got the equalizer at 5:25 of the second frame, this one on the power play. Eberle drew a tripping penalty on Mark Giordano and Eberle was the one to make it 2-2 from the doorstep. Draisaitl backhanded a shot on goal in the crease and it trickled out to Eberle. McDavid also recorded an assist, giving him five points in five periods to start this season.

The Oilers had more of the jump to start the second, going on a 8-1 run in shots in the opening eight minutes. Their fast start and Eberle's goal helped them head to the third tied with the Flames.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Todd McLellan

Draisaitl put Edmonton on top 3-2 at 1:28 of the third, on the power play. McDavid passed the puck down low to Lucic, who then set up Draisaitl in front for the tic-tac-toe power-play goal. McDavid's second assists gives him six points in six periods of play to start the 2016-17 campaign.

Letestu made no mistake on his second breakaway of the night, this one shorthanded at 6:47 of the third. Letestu's goal put the Oil on top 4-2, giving them some breathing room against their provincial rivals.

That breathing room was cut in half at 12:16 when Jyrki Jokipakka sniped a top-shelf goal to make it a 4-3 game heading into the home stretch.

Draisaitl sealed the deal with an empty-net tally with 1:20 remaining in the game. Lucic set up the goal with an excellent shift, digging the puck out from the boards.

"We can't start games like that every night and just rely on our resiliency and rely on our second and third period," said Draisaitl. "We have to come out stronger in the future to maybe get a lead or a two-goal lead and play from there. But it's definitely nice to come back."

The Oilers (2-0-0) head back home to host the Buffalo Sabres Sunday, at 5 p.m. MT. 

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