Johnny Gaudreau had five assists as the Calgary Flames smoked the Edmonton Oilers 9-5 Saturday night.
It was the second highest-scoring Battle of Alberta in history. The teams combined for 15 goals twice in 1983/84.
“We went away from script; went away from what our game plan was and we paid the price for it,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game. “Nine even strength goals — not good enough.”
The Oilers got the jump in a fast-paced first period. Derick Brassard tipped Evan Bouchard’s point shot past Jacob Markstrom 32 seconds into the game. Elias Lindholm tied it five minutes later. The Flames then jumped ahead with two goals in 15 seconds.
Chris Tanev was stopped on a breakaway by Mikko Koskinen, but the rebound went in off Darnell Nurse. Mikael Backlund made it 3-1, giving the Flames three goals on their first six shots. In the final minute of the first, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins feathered a pass to Leon Draisaitl, who blazed in and notched his 45th.
The action didn’t slow down in the second. Draisaitl tied it on the power play 44 seconds in. Gaudreau made a brilliant play to set up Oliver Kylington to make it 4-3 Calgary.
Just 45 seconds later, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins struck on another Oilers power play. Gaudreau made another creative play to find Matthew Tkachuk for his 31st, and it was 5-4 Flames with still 14:54 left in the second.
Mike Smith replaced Mikko Koskinen, who allowed five goals on 12 shots. Tkachuk quickly welcomed him with his second of the night. Draisaitl completed the hat trick on a two-man advantage, converting a pass from Connor McDavid.
“The media is going to probably blame our goalies, but you can’t blame our goalies,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “Hung them out to dry. All around poor performance.”
Early in the third, Evander Kane appeared to have a sure goal on his stick, but Markstrom shot out his right pad for a brilliant save. Not long after, Lindholm beat Smith to make it 7-5. Backlund and Dillon Dube rounded out the scoring.
Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins both had four points.
“You can’t give up nine goals, it doesn’t matter against who,” Draisaitl said. “You’re never going to win a game in the NHL if you give up nine. We can talk all we want. It’s not good enough top to bottom. It starts with me — or our leadership group — but I’m pretty confident we’ll be better.”
The Oilers, 36-25-5, will host Arizona on Monday.