Flames beat Oilers in shootout
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary
Brendan Morrison (CGY) — 2 goals
Magnus Paajarvi (EDM) — 1 goal, 1 assist
Miikka Kiprusoff (CGY) — 28 saves
The Calgary Flames didn't have their best game, but they played well enough to defeat the Edmonton Oilers.
Alex Tanguay scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Flames a 5-4 victory over the Oilers in an exciting affair Tuesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"You saw how deep he was in the net. When the goalie is that deep, usually there's going to be a little bit more to shoot at," said Tanguay.
Brendan Morrison had two goals — one short-handed — continuing his hot play since joining the Flames at the beginning of the season. Jay Bouwmeester and Curtis Glencross got the other Calgary goals.
But Calgary, winners in four of their past five games, gave up a three-goal lead before winning the game in a shootout. "We didn't play a smart third but we won, and it's a big two points," Morrison said.
Miikka Kiprusoff, celebrating his 34th birthday, made 28 saves for his fifth win of the season.
"I didn't think Miikka had one of his stronger games here tonight, but he's not going to be perfect every night either," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "You have to find ways to overcome that when your goaltender is not as sharp as you need him to be. But in the shootout he was rock solid."
Oilers rookie Magnus Paajarvi netted his second goal of the year and added an assist in the loss. Kurtis Foster, Jordan Eberle and Tom Gilbert also tallied for Edmonton.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 35 of 39 shots, including four quality chances in overtime, losing for the fifth time this season.
It was the seventh consecutive time the Flames have defeated the Oilers on home ice.
Calgary wasted little time to start the game, capitalizing with the man advantage at 5:52 of the first, when Morrison blasted a point shot that sailed over Khabibulin's right shoulder.
But the youngsters from the City of Champions got their own power-play marker less than three minutes later. Paajarvi chipped a soft pass directly into Foster's wheelhouse. The defenceman then rocketed a slapshot past Kiprusoff to tie the game. It was the first goal allowed by the Flames penalty-kill unit this season.
With just over two minutes remaining in the first, Eberle had a great chance to give his team the lead. The Oilers rookie grabbed a rebound in the slot and wired a snap shot on net, but birthday boy turned aside the attempt.
Calgary answered late in the frame. Tanguay made a beautiful feed to Bouwmeester who scored with 20 seconds left on the clock. The Flames winger sent a backhand saucer pass through three Oilers to the defenceman, who went upstairs, beating Khabibulin.
Glencross gave the home side a two-goal cushion two minutes into the second, and Calgary continued to apply pressure on the younger, less experienced Oilers. After being stopped on a short-handed breakaway less than five minutes earlier, Morrison got another chance midway through the period. The first-time Flame broke down the left boards and beat Khabibulin high for his second of the game.
Just when Edmonton looked to be out of the game, Eberle got his redemption from the earlier miss, scoring with seven seconds remaining in the period. The rookie collected a turnover in the neutral zone, forced Ian White wide, then beat Kiprusoff short side on the backhand.
"The second period was not our best. We were all over the ice and teams are going to expose us and that's exactly what they did," Gilbert said. "We were fortunate that we were only down 4-2 — that goal at the end of the second period was huge for us."
Then, another Oilers youngster found the back of the net with a highlight-reel goal. Paajarvi took a stretch pass from Andrew Cogliano, went in on a partial break and shovelled a one-handed shot that popped over a sprawling Kiprusoff, getting his club to within a goal.
Midway through the final stanza, Gilbert completed the comeback. Dustin Penner sent a pass to the Oilers defenceman who blasted a shot that deflected off a few bodies out front, beating Kiprusoff and tying the game.
"You have to play a full 60 minutes but the way we ended it, that's the kind of heart we want out of our guys in this locker room," Gilbert said. "We gave it all we had but unfortunately some early goals really cost us in the end."