Two late third period goals by the Calgary Flames led the home side to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome on Tuesday night.
With a first-period marker, Tom Gilbert had the lone Edmonton goal on the night.
The Oilers and Flames went end-to-end in the opening six minutes, generating a number of scoring chances each and notching a combined 12 shots. Calgary recorded the best chance when Lee Stempniak blew in on a 2-on-1 with Curtis Glencross, but the Flames winger was denied as Devan Dubnyk smothered the attempt.
Following a stoppage in the Oilers end, Calgary's Tim Jackman cross-checked Cam Barker across the face, earning a post-whistle minor for high-sticking at 6:15. Just 27 seconds into the advantage, the Oilers went up 1-0. Corey Potter slid a cross-box pass to Tom Gilbert who delivered a wicked one-timer past the Flames 'tender glove-side.
As the period's midway point passed, the Oilers continued to lead 1-0 but were down 9-6 in shots. As well, Theo Peckham had played a total of 47 seconds on the team's fourth line as a make-do replacement for Taylor Hall, who's missing tonight's action due to illness.
The Oilers' 1-0 lead remained until the opening frame's waning moments, but puck control continued to be an issue for the orange and blue. 15 minutes into the period, Edmonton had committed seven giveaways without forcing a single Calgary return.
With 1:29 on the clock, Barker was issued a minor for tripping, putting Calgary's 23.1-percent power-play to work. Nothing could be generated, but the Flames would have 32 man-advantage seconds carried over into the middle period.
The Oilers killed the rest, but were back on the disadvantage moments later; a bench minor for too many men, served by Linus Omark, put the teams in a 5-on-4 situation once more. Without a shot to show, the Flames bowed to an 0-for-2 success rate.
The Flames pressed hard to equal the score at the period's six-minute mark, having Jarome Iginla skate down on a breakaway, only to be denied by Dubnyk's sliding pad stop. A 2-on-1 moments later also provided imminent danger, but a wayward pass kept the Oilers' lead intact.
The Flames continued to trail on the scoreboard at the stanza's 10-minute mark, but were in possession of a commanding 16-8 lead on the shot clock.
At 14:00, Eric Belanger was charged for tripping, putting the Flames on their third power-play. 50 seconds in, Olli Jokinen split the Oilers' D, challenging Dubnyk with speed. His initial shot attempt was blocked, but the 33-year-old collected his own rebound, hitting iron behind the sprawling Oilers netminder.
A minor to Alex Tanguay 18 seconds later sparked a minute-long 4-on-4 sequence, but neither side could produce anything of consequence.
With 2:17 remaining, Belanger danced in on Cory Sarich, drawing a man-advantage chance in the process; hooking was the call, putting the Oilers' 1-for-2 PP back on the ice. No. 20 also put another attempt on goal, which registered as the team's ninth total and second in the period (Belanger was credited with both).
The Oilers peppered Miikka Kiprusoff with four shots to end the period, including a mad goal-mouth scramble by Ryan Smyth before the buzzer, but were unable to extend the lead. The Oilers' 1-0 edge carried into the third period; and Calgary's once dominating shot advantage had been sliced to a 17-13 lead.
A high-sticking minor to Calgary's Glencross at 5:56 put the Oilers back on the power-play looking for an insurance marker. 10 seconds in, Ryan Whitney's sneaky wrister struck the near post, but that was as close as the visitors would come during the two-minute advantage.
Power-play point blasts by Potter and Gilbert helped the Oilers close the shot count to a 21-17 Flames advantage, but the game remained in a 1-0 score.
A questionable hooking call to Flames defenceman Mark Giordano put the Oilers up a man once more at 9:29. The Oilers tried furiously to cash another tally; chances by Barker, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Anton Lander highlighted an entertaining two-minute sequence, but a goal couldn't be scored.
With less than six minutes to play in the third, Jay Bouwmeester tied the game with a wrister between the hash marks. His shot went over the shoulder of Dubnyk and tied the game 1-1.
About 90 seconds later, the Flames took the lead when Alex Tanguay pounced on a loose puck during a mad goal-mouth scramble in front to slip the puck past a sprawling Devan Dubnyk.
With time winding down in the third, Edmonton pressed for the equalizer. Anton Lander nearly redirected a Whitney shot past Kiprusoff from the side of the net but was denied. He was hauled down after the play, giving the Oilers a short eight-second man-advantage with a chance to tie it up.
However, the Flames won the draw and eliminated any chance of an Oilers comeback.