Flames nip Oilers 4-3 in shootout
|Edmonton's Sam Gagner tries to get the puck past Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff at Rexall Place on Thursday, October 8, 2009. The Flames beat the Oilers 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
A late go-ahead goal by Ales Hemsky
gave Oilers fans something to cheer about Thursday night, but an even later goal -- with only 1.5 seconds left -- courtesy of Calgary's Rene Bourque promptly halted the cheering and forced extra time.
Despite steady pressure from the Oilers, the Flames persevered through overtime and then beat Nikolai Khabibulin
twice in the shootout to walk away from the province's capital with two points.
The Flames were on fire to start the game, testing Khabibulin with four shots before the Oilers registered an attempt on Miikka Kiprusoff. By the midway point of the period, Calgary increased their shot lead to 8-3, but Khabibulin made a pair of key saves to maintain the scoreless game.
With 5:42 remaining in the frame, Ethan Moreau took an interference penalty and the Flames benefited from the game's first powerplay. But to the dismay of their provincial rivals, Edmonton's penalty killers were solid and quick to spot Moreau as he emerged from the penalty box. Gilbert Brule
fed his captain the puck for a breakaway, and Moreau reciprocated by snapping it past Kiprusoff for the first goal of the game.
In the period's final minute, Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester turned the powerplay tables by taking a hooking minor. 18 seconds into the man-advantage and with 14 seconds left on the clock, Oilers blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky saw a gap in the defenders, carried the puck into the slot, and slapped it home for a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
In the first few seconds of the middle frame, Jarome Iginla chased Sheldon Souray
into the corner, resulting in a rough collision that sent both players to the ice. Souray laid with his arm over his face for over a minute while being assessed by Oilers Head Medical Trainer Ken Lowe. He was then helped off the ice, and Iginla was sent to the penalty box to serve a tripping minor. Souray did not return to the game due to a mild concussion.
A few minutes after he completed his penalty, Iginla faced the revenge-seeking Moreau. Both players dropped their gloves, but the Oiler lost his footing early and Iginla's attempts to lift him back up were interrupted by the linesmen. Both players earned fighting majors for the short altercation.
Moreau wasn't alone in the Oilers penalty box for long, as Zack Stortini
and Denis Grebeshkov were dealt consecutive infractions. The resulting powerplays -- including 1:33 of five-on-three -- helped the Flames assume a 15-10 shot lead, but the 'Bulin wall withstood the assault.
Calgary maintained their shot lead as the period progressed, but like their opponents at the end of the first, the visitors lit the lamp with mere seconds left on the clock. With help from Bourque and Mark Giordano, Daymond Langkow backhanded the puck through traffic and past Khabibulin to get the Flames back within one after 40 minutes.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Patrick O'Sullivan after the second period
Calgary cracked 20 shots early in the third and then used two more to erase Edmonton's lead. From a sharp angle, Nigel Dawes snuck the puck between Khabibulin's blocker and the post to tie the game at two with 15 minutes left in regulation.
10 minutes later, Ales Hemsky
got the Oilers to 20 shots and back on top. Kiprusoff blocked Shawn Horcoff
's initial slapshot, but Hemsky snapped up the rebound, swept across the crease, and tapped it past the desperate goalie to give Edmonton a 3-2 lead.
The Oilers came within 1.5 seconds of winning this Battle of Albera in regulation, but the persistent Flames refused to be extinguished. From the point, Bourque fired the puck through traffic and into the net to tie the game at three and force overtime.
35 seconds into sudden death, Giordano took a tripping penalty and the Oilers benefited from two minutes of four-on-three. Edmonton tallied six shots on the man-advantage but was unable to get one past Kiprusoff.
By the end of the extra period, the Oilers and Flames had posted 28 shots each but were unable to find the game-winner.
was unsuccessful in Edmonton's first attempt, and Dawes countered with a goal at the opposite end. Although O'Sullivan managed to beat Kiprusoff on Edmonton's second shot, Olli Jokinen scored again for the Flames to put Hemsky in charge of salvaging the home win.
Unfortunately, the crossbar got in the way of Hemsky's shootout goal and Calgary walked away with two points Thursday night.
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