by Lisa McRitchie on 02/22/12 at 03:30 AM ET
Oilers beat the Flames 6-1
It has been a very long time coming. It was October 17th, 2008 the last time the Oilers left the Calgary Saddledome with a win in their pocket. Since that game, the Oilers have been 0-9-1 in Calgary.
This game started off much like every other battle of Alberta with Calgary taking the lead but with an unlikely scorer when Scott Hannan netted his second of the year past Devan Dubnyk.
Calgary’s lead would hold until the final 90 seconds of the period when the Oilers most likely scorer, Jordan Eberle finally got one past Flames’ netminder Mika Kiprusoff. The Oilers’ lack of scoring up to this point was not for lack of effort, but rather Kiprusoff’s outstanding play. While the Flames got off only 7 shots in the first period, Kipper turned away 16 of the 17 he faced.
The Oilers really came to life in the second period with goals from Ales Hemsky, Eric Belanger, Sam Gagner and birthday boy Ryan Smyth. Smyth nearly had a Gordie Howe hat-trick but lacked the fight. In fact, there were no fights at all in this battle of Alberta despite the fact that both Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk were in the lineup.
With the Oilers four second period goals, and a 5-1 lead, the Oilers fans in the crowd began the chant “we want ten.” As Kipper allowed the 4 Oilers goals off of 17 shots, that could have happened.
Mercifully, Kipper would sit the third period on the Flames bench and Henrik Karlsson would play the final frame.
The Flames came to play the third period, but it was too late. Taylor Hall would score the Oilers’ final goal on the power play, securing beyond a doubt that the Oilers should not be taken so lightly. You never know when they will give you a run for your money.
For Jordan Eberle, he now has 8 goals and 5 assists in his last 10 games. There is no doubt as to why he leads the team in scoring.But, attempting to close the gap and coming from behind is Sam Gagner. Gagner had three points, a goal and two assists in what has been a remarkable second half season for the still young centreman.
Magnus Paajarvi had an incredible game, despite not scoring. In Paajarvi’s first season in the NHL he scored his first goal in Calgary and would end the season with 3 goals and 2 assists while facing the Flames in Calgary. This season, he was scratched for the first game in Calgary and seemed to be attempting to make up for lost opportunities Tuesday night. By charging the net and otherwise positioning himself in front of the net, it was surprising that he only had a single shot through 60 minutes. This is the kind of play that the Oilers are looking for in Paajarvi going forward.
Head coach Tom Renney is still suffering from the effects of his concussion, and once again Ralph Krueger took the reins. Krueger was like all Oiler fans, delighted with the win saying that he was “grateful” for it.
After a disappointing loss to both the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks this weekend, this win could not have come at a better time. The Oilers have to win more games against their division rivals if they want to have better success overall. Next up, the Oilers will host the Chris Prongerless Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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