Oilers end season with 4-1 defeat
|Calgary's Eric Nystrom attempts to get the puck past Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers in the final game of the regular season. The Flames went on to win 4-1. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
On the heels of a 5-1 win over the Flames Friday night, the Oilers saw the tables turn Saturday in Calgary. Despite 41 saves from Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, Edmonton closed out the 2008-09 season with a 4-1 defeat to their provincial rivals.
scored the lone goal for the Oil, while Mike Cammalleri registered two plus an assist for the Flames.
The Oilers and Flames put their back-ups between the pipes in this regular-season-ending Battle of Alberta, and both Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers and Curtis McElhinney were tested with three shots in the first five minutes.
A hooking penalty to James Vandermeer
gave Edmonton the game's first powerplay at 6:26, but despite a flurry of chances late in the man-advantage, the visitors were unable to find the opening goal.
The Oilers held the shot lead through to the first intermission, eventually finishing on top 10-7.
The Oil was on fire early in the second, peppering McElhinney with five shots in the first 90 seconds. Although the goalie stopped those early attempts, he was unable to get over for Tom Gilbert
's wrap-around, and the blueliner got the puck over the line to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
Six minutes and six Flames shots later, the home team tied it up. After bursting over the blue line, Mike Cammalleri veered to the right and backhanded the puck through defenceman Taylor Chorney
and past Deslauriers to get Calgary on the board and back on even terms.
The Flames continued to apply pressure following the goal and nearly registered a wrap-around marker of their own, but Chorney and Deslauriers paired up to get their sticks in the way. A holding the stick penalty to Ales Hemsky
put the Oilers on the penalty kill and the Flames even with 22 shots shortly thereafter, but Deslauriers turned away all five man-advantage attempts.
With four minutes left in the period, the Flames finally got their go-ahead goal. After finding success in the right face-off circle, Cammalleri skated up to the same spot and fired into the net to put his club up 2-1.
Deslauriers and McElhinney showcased their best saves of the game -- and perhaps the season -- when a handful of end-to-end rushes triggered swift assaults on net in the final minute. The young goalies thrilled the crowd and froze the score until the start of the third.
Edmonton hit 30 shots early in the final frame, but Calgary soon overtook them by posting their 33rd six minutes in. At 7:35, a hooking penalty to Steve MacIntyre
gave the Flames their second powerplay, but the Oilers excelled on the PK and managed an exciting shorthanded scoring chance thanks to captain Ethan Moreau.
Although the Flames powerplay woes continued, their even-strength success made up for it. 15 seconds into five-on-five, Craig Conroy snapped up Cammalleri's rebound and redirected it into the net for a third straight Calgary goal and 3-1 lead.
Six minutes later, the home team hit 40 shots and four goals. From the top of the right face-off circle, Jamie Lundmark directed a slapshot into the far corner of Deslaurier's net, increasing the Flames lead to 4-1.
The Flames maintained the three-goal gap until the final buzzer, sending the Oilers into the off-season with a disappointing loss.
|Three star selections