Oilers fall to Flames in shootout
|Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff covers the puck with Edmonton's Steve MacIntyre breathing down his neck during the first period of the Battle of Alberta on Feb. 21, 2009. Calgary went on to win 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Although the Oilers held a 2-1 lead after 58:55, the Flames fought back with a goal in the final minute and then tallied the game-winner in a shootout to take the Battle of Alberta 3-2 Saturday night. Erik Cole and Ales Hemsky
scored for Edmonton, Shawn Horcoff
led the game with two assists, and Dwayne Roloson stopped 30 shots and went 2-for-3 in the shootout.
The Oilers dominated the first five minutes but were then put on a disadvantage when Ethan Moreau was called for cross-checking at 5:13. Although the Flames used the powerplay to assume a 6-4 shot lead by the midway point of the period, the Oilers managed a pair of shorthanded scoring opportunities and then relied on goalie Dwayne Roloson to turn away each shot visiting shot.
At 9:41, the powerplay tables turned when Adrian Aucoin hooked Ladislav Smid
as he cut across Miikka Kiprusoff's crease, giving the Oilers their first man-advantage. Although Edmonton managed only one powerplay shot, seven seconds after the penalty expired, Erik Cole snapped the puck into the net to give the Oil a 1-0 lead.
Edmonton benefited from a second powerplay late in the period, but Calgary excelled shorthanded and swept play back into the home zone with a two-on-one. But Roloson diffused the situation and then robbed Dustin Boyd to continue the scoreless game.
A late holding penalty to Tom Gilbert
ensured the Oilers would start the second period down three shots and one man.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Sheldon Souray after the first period
The Oilers and Flames matched eachother shot-for-shot through the first few minutes of the middle frame, but Kiprusoff and Roloson -- as well as Roloson's left post -- prevented the puck from crossing the either line.
Calgary applied pressure as the period progressed, a situation that intensified when the club benefited from its third powerplay thanks to a hooking minor to Ales Hemsky
. But penalty killers ruled the two minutes, and then another two minutes when the Flames took a bench minor, pushing the 1-0 game into the final few minutes of the second.
At that point, Calgary's persistence paid off. With 3:20 left on the clock, Cory Sarich swept up the right wing and fed a quick pass to Jarome Iginla, who redirected the puck past Roloson to register his club's 20th shot and game-tying goal.
By the end of the second, the Flames held a 22-17 shot lead and were back on even terms with the Oil.
Dan Tencer interviews Ladislav Smid in the second intermission
The Flames tested Roloson with two shots early in the third, but the Oilers required only one to regain their lead. Less than two minutes into the frame, Hemsky fooled Kiprusoff with a sharp-angle snapshot to put the Oilers up 2-1.
Cole kept home fans cheering with his partial breakaway following the goal, but a hook by Jim Vandermeer
kept him from taking a shot. A second Flames penalty gave the Oilers a two-man-advantage for 53 seconds, but the extra men failed to produce extra goals and the one-goal game continued.
With just over one minute left in regulation and Kiprusoff skating towards his bench, the Battle of Alberta intensified. Form near the Oilers bench, Matthew Lombardi snapped the puck past Roloson to tie the game 2-2 and force extra time.
14 seconds after his goal, Lombardi took a high-sticking penalty, ensuring the Oilers would start overtime with a four-on-three powerplay. But Kiprusoff kept the game-winner off the board, followed by a clinch Roloson save in the dying seconds of OT to send the game to a shootout.
Calgary's Todd Bertuzzi beat Roloson on the first shootout attempt, but three saves, a post, and a bumbled puck helped the goatenders keep their lamps unlit for the remainder of the breakaway relay. As a result, Bertuzzi's goal would seal a 3-2 come-from-behind shootout victory for the Flames and tie this Battle of Alberta season series at two.
|Three star selections