Second-period goals by Tom Kostopoulos and Jarome Iginla propelled the home side to (what turned out to be) an insurmountable two-goal lead, as the Calgary Flames blanked the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Iginla added an empty-netter, while Devan Dubnyk
posted 31 saves in the loss.
Continuing the momentum established in Friday's win over the Avalanche, the Oilers got the game's best chance less than a minute in when Jordan Eberle
cut around Jay Bouwmeester and across the crease in alone, but his shot dribbled wide.
At 3:58, Jarome Iginla picked up a cross-checking minor when he gave a shot to an unsuspecting Eric Belanger
, putting the Oilers' 20.5-percent power-play to work. The Oilers mustered a pair of shots, but were unable to cash with the man-advantage.
Scrambled play dominated the proceedings as the period elapsed into its latter half; combined, the Oilers and Flames committed six giveaways, while the home side advanced to a slim 5-2 edge in shots.
Following the period's second TV timeout, Ryan Smyth
helped orchestrate a quality scoring chance when he broke in a 2-on-1 with the captain; No 10 partially connected, but his attempt at the wide-open cage sailed high and wide.
Still 0-0 and with 6:29 on the clock, Ryan Jones
was assessed a goaltender intereference minor, putting the Flames' 22nd-ranked man-advantage to work. Like the Oilers' PP of a week ago, Calgary struggled to gain entry and succombed to the visitors' kill.
At 17:39, the Oilers came close once more; a chip into the Flames zone caused 'tender Miikka Kiprusoff to wander out, kicking the puck out into the slot and on a platter for Jones. The 27-year-old wasted no time in unleashing a snapshot, but the goalie came up with a thrilling glove save to keep the game scoreless.
With 20 minutes in the books, the Oilers and Flames remained in a 0-0 score as the home side carried an 11-6 shot lead into the middle stanza.
2:29 into the period, Ryan Whitney
was sent to serve a roughing minor, putting the Flames' 0-for-1 power-play back onto the ice in search of the icebreaker. Calgary tallied an additional three shots, but were unable to beat Devan Dubnyk
With 11:37 to play, Olli Jokinen clipped Ladislav Smid
with an errant stick, causing the Oilers rearguard to tumble to the ice in pain; Calgary's No. 13 was assessed a four-minute double-minor, as Smid needed medical attention from Head Athletic Therapist T.D. Forss to contain the blood.
The Oilers squandered the initial 3:23, and then the remaining 37 seconds were cut short as Sam Gagner
was charged with chopping Tom Kostopoulos' stick in two. Calgary's third (abbreviated) power-play was much more succesful than its previous two attempts; Derek Smith's point shot was stopped by Dubnyk, but Kostopoulos made Gagner pay by pouncing on the rebound and slamming into the net to put the home side up 1-0 at 13:45.
With 1:17 on the clock and with the Oilers scrambling to make a tape-to-tape breakout pass with little pressure from the opposition, Jeff Petry
was assessed a tripping minor. Fortunately for the orange and blue, it took only 31 seconds for that 5-on-4 opportunity to expire, as Jokinen was charged with interference to even it out.
Even so, the Flames made good. Jarome Iginla wired a slapper over Dubnyk to score his 10th of the season, putting the home side up by a pair with only 15.1 seconds on the clock.
With 40 minutes expired, Calgary's lead was buoyed by a commanding 27-12 lead on the shot clock.
The Oilers' parade to the box continued early in the third when the captain hauled down Chris Butler 200 feet from his own net, putting Calgary's 1-for-4 power-play back to work at 1:10. The Flames' push was quelled, keeping the orange and blue's disadvantage to a 2-0 count.
With the Flames coming down on a 2-on-1, Tom Gilbert
took a healthy whack at Calgary's Olli Jokinen, resulting in a slashing minor to be assessed at 8:17. The home side pushed hard for a third goal, but Dubnyk stopped two Flames shots to give his team a chance as the period's 10-minute mark passed.
Being back on the PK didn't help, mind you. A bench minor for too many men put the Oilers down a man once more at 15:05. Looking to make it 3-0, Iginla stepped into a slapper that caught iron, but stayed out as the 2-0 score remained.
In need of a spark (and a goal), the Oilers pulled Dubnyk for an extra-attacker with 2:26 to play. With only 19.5 seconds on the clock, once the Oilers had coughed up possession, Iginla skated down and tapped the puck into the empty cage, sealing a 3-0 Flames win.
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