Mikko Koskinen made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 1-0 Sunday night at Rogers Place.
Koskinen has now won six consecutive starts at Rogers Place.
“I don’t think there are any secrets–maybe luck,” Koskinen said. “Every game is different and you have to prove yourself every day. It doesn’t matter if its on home or away ice.”
Connor McDavid had the only goal of the first period, rifling a pass from Alex Chiasson past David Rittich. Milan Lucic unleashed a huge hit on Travis Hamonic later in the period, leading to a bout between Lucic and Anthony Peluso.
“I’m a little bit old school so I’ve got no problem with Peluso doing his job,” Lucic said. “I just needed three or four deep breaths there before I dropped the gloves,” he added with a chuckle.
“This was a playoff game played by both teams,” Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Every puck battle mattered. Every loose puck there was a battle or a race, and that’s what playoff hockey is about.”
Rittich stopped Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl on breakaways early in the second period, then the Flames ramped up the pressure. Anthony Peluso beat Koskinen on a deflection with 7:42 left, but the Oilers challenged for goalie interference. The replay showed Peluso’s skate knocked Koskinen’s skate and the goal was waved off.
The Oilers killed off a Flames power play early in the third, then had three of their own man advantages in the final 15 minutes, but couldn’t net the insurance goal.
“”It wasn’t as much fatigue, as it was the momentum they gained by their power play, continually putting it on the ice,” Flames head coach Bill Peters said. “Especially in the third when we’re trying to push and come back, and we’re continually killing and you’re taxing guys, and it makes it harder than it needs to be. It’s already a tough task, and it makes it real hard.”
Calgary pulled Rittich with 1:10 to go but failed to get a good scoring chance.
Rittich made 29 saves. The Flames were without captain Mark Giordano, who was serving the second game of a two-game suspension.
“Games like this and the game we’re going to play in Colorado is going to challenge us to play at a whole other level,” Hitchcock said. “We’re going to have to have the energy to do that.”
The Oilers, 16-12-2, have won three in a row and five straight at home. They’ll visit Colorado on Tuesday.
–with files from Brenden Escott and Scott Johnston