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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Flames

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

A strong third period comeback from the Flames lifted the home team to a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. A strong game by Nikolai Khabibulin proved to be too little, as a flurry of Flames shots in the final frame sealed the two points for Calgary. Alex Tanguay, Niklas Hagman, Jarome Iginla and Brendan Morrison scored for the Flames, while Magnus Paajarvi, Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky tallied for the Oilers.

The Flames came out blazing in the final frame, throwing a total of 18 shots on Nikolai Khabibulin. Niklas Hagman's tying goal early in the third period further ignited Calgary's offensive attack. A scramble play resulted in the Oilers unable to clear the puck from the crease area where Hagman tapped it home through the five-hole of Edmonton's netminder. The tying goal set the stage for further offensive pressure and an eventual Jarome Iginla goal to seal the win for the Flames.

700 Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin played in his 700th career game tonight.
29 The Oilers' early-season faceoff struggles continued tonight in a big way. Collectively, the team only won 29% of all the draws taken (18-for-63).
76 Early in the season, both teams have struggled to generate many shots on goal, but they responded tonight by throwing a collective 76 shots on goal (30 for Edmonton, 46 for Calgary).
20 In your typical Battle of Alberta, you would expect to see a nastier tone. That wasn't he case tonight as the two teams only racked up a total of 20 penalty minutes.

Jarome Iginla
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 E 8

Brendan Morrison
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 2 4

Nikolai Khabibulin
41 45 4 .912

Miikka Kiprusoff
30 27 3 59:54 .900

Nikolai Khabibulin
45 41 4 59:10 .912

Jay Bouwmeester - D

25:32 - 0P, -1 rating

Ryan Whitney - D

26:39 - 1A, +1 rating

While this goal certainly wasn't the prettiest of Magnus Paajarvi's hockey career, it may just be the most memorable. Paajarvi tapped home a Colin Fraser centering pass that bounced around in the crease and barely crossed the line. While the goal was under review, Paajarvi knew the goal would count right away and celebrated with his ecstatic teammates. The goal won't win any awards for style, but any first NHL goal moment is special; something Paajarvi, his teammates, and Oilers fans everywhere will always remember.

There's something about playing against the Edmonton Oilers that brings out Jarome Iginla's game. While the veteran forward struggled through the first two periods, he came out on fire offensively and helped lift his team to a victory with two third period points. Coming into tonight's game, Iginla had scored 66 points in 77 career games against the Oilers. Tonight, he improved on that statistic as he contributed to the Oilers' second consecutive road defeat.

Sam Gagner continued his hot start to the 2010-11 season as he recorded his fourth point of this young season. While his line was unable to generate much beyond the first period, his efforts didn't go unnoticed as he brought an energetic attack to his line's game. Gagner was physical in the corners and his battle level was the catalyst for much of his line's offensive play throughout the night. Gagner finished the night with one assist and a +1 rating; a rare count among his teammates.

Young defenceman Theo Peckham continues to bring a solid physical presence everytime he steps on the ice. Tonight was no different and he brought that edge to one particular hit that sent Flames forward Brendan Morrison off the ice to shake off the collision. Morrison tried to beat Peckham wide, but he stood the speedy forward up with excellent gap control as he laid his hip into Morrison's side; sending the veteran forward off the ice in a haze.

Calgary's retro uniforms continue to be a source of good fortune. The Flames extended their record to 8-0 when wearing those jerseys, and did so in thrilling fashion against the division rival Oilers.

"It was a tough game. We knew they were going to play hard. We carried the game for the most part, but the penalty box kind of us got us into trouble and we lost the game there at the end."

Taylor Hall's blunt synopsis of his team's 5-3 defeat.

Thursday October 21 vs. Minnesota
  7:00 p.m. MT (Sportsnet / 630 CHED)

Following two consecutive losses on their short road trip, the Oilers hope they can get back to their early-season winning ways back at home at Rexall Place when the Minnesota Wild pay a visit.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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