Oil let 4-1 lead slip away, lose to Flames in shootout
|Edmonton's Teemu Hartikainen and Calgary's Jay Bouwmeester battle for the puck during the Battle of Alberta at Rexall Place Saturday, March 26, 2011. The Flames won 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Despite owning a 4-1 lead early in the third period, the Oilers couldn't keep the Flames at bay, surrendering three third period goals and one in the shootout for a 5-4 loss Saturday night. Highlights for the Oilers were Teemu Hartikainen
's first career NHL goal and Colin Fraser
's stellar shorthanded marker.
The game's first five minutes were fast-paced, and the young Oilers dominated. In that time the home team tallied five shots on visiting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, including a slick attempt from Magnus Paajarvi
that slipped past the goaltender but couldn't get by Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr, who swept in for the save.
Four minutes later, Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk
came up with a spectacular save of his own. Sneaking up from the right wing, Olli Jokinen stared down a wide-open net, but Dubnyk dove over and gloved the puck as it approached the goal line, triggering thunderous applause from the crowd.
Shortly following the attempt, Jokinen got a bit of payback by drawing a roughing minor from Steve MacIntyre
. Calgary was unsuccessful on the power-play, however, and trailed Edmonton 5-3 on the shot clock.
By the 16-minute mark, the Oilers had increased their shot lead to 9-4 and, more importantly, converted that advantage into the opening goal. With help from linemates Andrew Cogliano
and Linus Omark
, Paajarvi caught a jumpy puck just outside the crease, calmed it down, and fired on Kiprusoff. Although the Flames 'tender turned that shot away, Paajarvi flipped the rebound into the net to put the Oil up 1-0.
The score stuck until the buzzer.
Edmonton and Calgary added three shots each in the early minutes of the middle frame, highlighted by an exciting -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- breakaway by Oilers rookie Hartikainen.
At 8:22, MacIntyre took his second consecutive penalty of the night, and this time the Flames capitalized. One minute into the man-advantage, Jarome Iginla slapped the puck past Dubnyk, tying the game at one.
But 59 seconds later, Hartikainen got his goal and the Oilers regained their lead. While engulfed in Flames, the 20-year-old fought hit way towards fellow Finn Kiprusoff and managed to snap the puck through a crowd and into the net. The goal was an NHL first for Hartikainen and set the score 2-1 for Edmonton.
With less than two minutes remaining in the period, Edmonton was back on the penalty kill after Jeff Petry
closed his hand on the puck and tossed it back across the blue line.
Despite being down a man, the Oilers promptly increased their lead. Streaking up the wing, Fraser fired past Kiprusoff for an unassisted shorthanded goal, his first goal in 51 games.
The performance put the Oilers up 3-1 and even with the Flames at 17 shots after 40 minutes.
3:31 into the third period, Edmonton added a fourth goal to its tally. Although Kiprusoff caught a piece of Ryan O'Marra
's shot, Ryan Jones
was perfectly poised to bang home the loose puck, crafting a three-goal cushion for his club.
Two minutes later, however, Iginla trimmed it to two. With Hartikainen serving an interference minor, the Flames captain sunk a snapshot to make it 4-2 with 14 minutes left to play.
Just over six minutes after that, Edmonton's lead was cut to one. Pouncing on a turnover in the Oilers zone, Curtis Glencross surprised Dubnyk with a quick shot that bypassed the goalie and connected with the mesh. With the primary assist, Iginla got his third point of the game.
With 1:55 remaining in regulation, Calgary erased Edmonton's lead. From the right side, former Oiler Steve Staios wired the puck past Dubnyk to tie the game at four and eventually force overtime.
The Flames had the lone shot of overtime until the final minute, when a late Oilers rush resulted in an attempt and the club's first two power-plays of the game. The penalties failed to produce a game-winner, however, and the game progressed to a shootout.
Kiprusoff turned away Jordan Eberle
's opening shootout attempt, but Dubnyk couldn't match, letting Alex Tanguay's shot slip by. The next three shooters came up short, meaning Tanguay was credited with the game-winner and the Flames emerged from the Battle of Alberta with two points.
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