The Edmonton Oilers scored two quick power-play goals in the third period to edge the Calgary Flames 4-3 Monday night at Rogers Place.
“We had a really hard practice yesterday, so you could tell there was some heavy legs out there,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
“I give (us) credit for hanging around. We got a lot better as the game went along.”
Forward Matthew Tkachuk took advantage of a turnover by Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and gave the Flames the lead with 8:41 to go in the first.
Late in the period, Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau got in behind the Oilers’ defence and ripped a shot over netminder Mikko Koskinen’s glove.
Nine minutes into the second, Calgary’s Elias Lindholm took a centering pass from Tkachuk and fired the shot past Koskinen’s blocker to make it 3-0.
The Oilers climbed back in it with goals 1:12 apart. Brendan Perlini beat Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom from in tight for his fifth goal of the pre-season.
“It wasn’t the smoothest NHL game that you’d see mid-season, but obviously both teams are playing a lot of their guys or full lineups, so it probably went a bit smoother than the first few games,” Perlini said.
Leon Draisaitl found Jesse Puljujarvi all alone in front to cut the Flames’ lead to 3-2.
“He’s come in and he’s skating really well. He wants the puck and he wants to be involved more in terms of plays and stuff like that. It’s a great thing,” McDavid said of Puljujarvi
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With the Oilers on a power play in the third, Connor McDavid drove the net from the right wing. He was tripped and went flying into Markstrom. The puck went to Puljujarvi, whose shot went in off a tumbling McDavid. The Flames unsuccessfully challenged for goalie interference, giving the Oilers another power play.
“When the stick comes into the feet there like (Flames defenceman Chris) Tanev’s did, it’s a dangerous play for me and for the goalie,” McDavid said.
“I don’t want to go flying in there, the goalie doesn’t want me flying in there and the guy that’s left safe is the defenceman who was sloppy with his stick, so I would like to see that called a little more.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up Draisaitl for a big one-timer, giving the Oilers two goals in 55 seconds and a 4-3 lead.
Koskinen made 26 saves for the win in net. Markstrom stopped 31 pucks for the Flames, including three breakaways.
The Oilers, 4-1-1 in the pre-season, will host Vancouver on Thursday.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott
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