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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Flames

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

For 39:43, the Oilers and Flames played a tight checking game with offensive chances being fairly equal. When Jarome Iginla scored for the Flames late in the middle frame, the Oilers offensive attack and general energy was deflated. The Flames took the lead, and momentum, into the second intermission and never looked back with the cap being recorded early in the third to put the Oilers down by a 3-1 count.

91 Fights and minor penalties dominated the night and as a result, the two teams recorded an incredible 91 penalty minutes combined.
50 Both Calgary and Edmonton finished the night going 50% in the faceoff circle; each team won 29.
1 The Oilers recorded their first loss of the pre-season schedule tonight and fall to 4-1 in the exhibition campaign.
31 While the physical energy was high tonight, so too was the mental fortitude and toughness of both clubs, as they combined to block 31 shots.
5 The Oilers allowed five goals against tonight, which is a pre-season high.
1st Star
Jarome Iginla
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +2 4
2nd Star
Mikael Backlund
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +2 1
3rd Star
Liam Reddox
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 E 4

Henrik Karlsson
21 20 1 60:00 .952

Nikolai Khabibulin
31 26 5 60:00 .839

Jay Bouwmeester - D

25:17 - 1A, +1 rating

Ryan Whitney - D

  25:25 - 0P, -2 rating

Nikolai Khabibulin didn't have the strongest of nights between the pipes tonight, but midway through the second period when the game was deadlocked at one, he came up with a tremendous save on a Flames powerplay to keep the score tied. Khabibulin slid across the crease on a one-time opportunity, of which he steered aside with his glove while doing the splits. At the time, the Oilers gained back some momentum but were unable to sustain it as they continued to run into penalty trouble.

Flames captain Jarome Iginla took over this game late in the second period when he snapped a shot high over the blocker of Nikolai Khabibulin. Iginla's goal came with only 16.8 seconds on the clock and provided the Flames with a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. But this was just the appetizer, as Iginla scored once more early in the third to put the Flames up by two and essentially sealing the victory for Calgary. As a result of his efforts, Iginla was named the first start of tonight's game.

In a game of such importance for the some of the bubble players, Liam Reddox stepped up in a big way. The young energy forward needed a solid performance and he delivered, both for himself and the Oilers coaching staff. His penalty killing duties were on display, as was his infectious energy and furious effort on the forecheck. Reddox was also credited with five hits in only 12:45 of ice time, a fight, and proved to be one of the team's most dependable two-way forwards.

Steve MacIntyre and Raitis Ivanans fought the heavyweight bout that everyone knew was coming. At the 6:48 mark of the first period, the two squared off and gave the fans what they wanted. The two went at it for well over the minute with seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm. The fight was fairly even, but both landed several good punches that brought the Rexall Place crowd to its feet and energized both benches.

On this night, the Flames were only able to record seven takeaways over the course of the game. Jordan Eberle of the Oilers recorded four on his own; all of which came in the first period when the Oilers were pressuring on the forecheck.

"I'm more disappointed that we just took bad penalties and took ourselves out of the game. I think we can deal with that, and I think time will tell. Certainly from a coaching perspective, our job is to make them feel that we can stand up to anything like that."

- Head coach Tom Renney on the loss to Calgary

Sunday, October 3 vs. Calgary
  6:00 p.m. MT (SN 1 / 630 CHED)

The 2010 pre-season schedule wraps up when the Oilers travel south to take on the Flames in Calgary. Edmonton hopes to conclude the exhibition campaign on a winning note against their provincial rivals.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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