CALGARY – Ryan Smyth didn’t need a stick to score the goal that mattered to Edmonton.
The Oilers used a 27-save save shutout by Devan Dubnyk and a pair of goals by Smyth to beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Friday.
Smyth, who also scored into an empty net with six seconds left, had a fortunate bounce to open the scoring in the first period.
With Smyth stationed at the top of the goal crease, Ales Hemsky fired puck from the corner that hit Smyth in the chest and bounced past Calgary’s Reto Berra.
There was a lengthy video review but the goal was upheld.
“When you get a goal like that, light the light and keep them at zero,” said Dubnyk. “We did a good job, especially toward the end of game when they were pushing to get one, we didn’t give them much.”
It was Smyth’s first goals in 14 games.
“Smitty battled throughout the game tonight, I thought he was really working,” said Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins.
Less than three minutes before Smyth’s goal, it appeared Calgary had taken the first lead when Mark Giordano fired a shot through the pads of Dubnyk.
However, as the Flames celebrated the goal, the cheers from the sell-out crowd of 19,289 quickly turned to boos when the goal was being waved off for incident contact with the goalie by Flames six-foot-five centre Joe Colborne.
“It’s a great call,” said Dubnyk. “I know, obviously being here, nobody likes it, but it would have been an easy one for him to let go because it wasn’t too noticeable, but he comes through the crease and spins me sideways on the original play.
“If he hadn’t of done that, then I wouldn’t have been sprawling and stretching, and it wouldn’t have gone under my arm.”
Colborne didn’t see the play unfold in quite the same way.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t even notice touching the goalie. I thought Gio made a really nice fake and because Dubynk was screened, he bit on it then needed to reset himself so he was kind of scrambling and Gio got off a good shot,” Colborne said.
“To get that first goal of the game was pretty big and we’re coming back to celebrate with the rest of our team and then you see them waving it off. It’s frustrating but regardless, you have to score more than one goal usually anyway so even if that one counted, we still have to go out and play the rest of the game.”
Dubnyk recorded his second shutout of the season and eighth of his career.
“It’s always fun to play here,” said Dubnyk, who played his minor hockey in Calgary. “I’ve lived a lot of years here and it’s always fun to win. This is the first shutout here, so it’s extra special.”
Edmonton (13-24-3), which won consecutive games for the first time in over a month, will go for three victories in a row Saturday night when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Calgary (14-18-6) has split the first two games in its five-game home stand. Next up is the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
“The bottom line is we didn’t play a very good game. We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win. Here’s one game that I didn’t think we had our usual jump,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said.
Edmonton moves to within five points of the Flames in the Western Conference standings.
“You have to give them credit, they are a hard-working team, but by no means are we going to lay down and be pushed over,” Smyth said. “We’re a team that’s going to fight and claw and try and get ourselves bumping up in the standings, one game at a time and we did it tonight.”
It was the third meeting between the two provincial rivals and the third straight goaltending duel between Dubnyk and Berra. They had split the first two.
Six minutes into the third period, Giordano nearly tied the game but had his shot from the point go off Dubnyk’s glove and then hit the crossbar.
“We didn’t get the bounces tonight but we weren’t good enough. We have to generate more and find ways to score,” said Giordano. “For too long of periods of time, we were standing around and not moving our feet enough.”
Berra had 26 saves to fall to 5-9-2. All five of his wins have come in overtime or a shootout.
Notes: Flames RW Lee Stempniak has no goals in nine games and two in 21 games since returning from a foot injury. He had four goals in 10 games when he got hurt … Edmonton D Andrew Ference played in NHL game No. 800 … Neither C Roman Horak or D Martin Marincin, recalled from Oklahoma City on Thursday, were in Edmonton’s lineup.