Flames beat up on depleted Oilers
Nigel Dawes tallied twice, and Calgary scoring leader Rene Bourque had three points as the Flames cruised to a 5-2 home win Saturday night over an Oilers team decimated by injuries and illness.
Bourque's short-handed marker in the first period touched off a four-goal run that propelled Calgary (7-2-1) to its third straight win.
The winger assisted on both Dawes goals to increase his team-high points total to 14 in 10 games.
"[Bourque] is a real smart player," Dawes told Hockey Night in Canada about his linemate. "He can play in all situations, he's got great speed and he's really strong on the puck."
Eric Nystrom and David Moss had the other Calgary goals, and Miikaa Kiprusoff made 23 saves.
Edmonton's Lubomir Visnovsky scored on the power play 2:25 into the game, and Dustin Penner notched his team-leading eighth goal of the season, also with the man advantage, late in the second.
The Oilers (6-3-1) were missing forwards Gilbert Brule and Mike Comrie due to the flu, further depleting a roster that was already without Fernando Pisani (back), Marc Pouliot (pubitis), Sheldon Souray (concussion), Steve Staios (concussion) and Ryan Stone (knee).
The absences may have caught up with the Oilers over the final two periods, when they were outshot 29-16 en route to seeing their three-game winning streak snapped.
"We gave up two fast goals and then stopped playing," said Edmonton coach Pat Quinn, whose team saw its three-game winning streak snapped. "We started to play solo hockey and that's not the way we're going to win and I don't know any team that does win that way."
Some of the pre-game talk centred on whether the Oilers would seek retribution for the role Flames captain Jarome Iginla played in Souray's injury. The star defenceman went headfirst into the end boards after getting tangled up with Iginla while chasing a loose puck in Calgary's 4-3 shootout win in Edmonton on Oct. 8.
No one dropped the gloves with Iginla on Saturday — Oilers captain Ethan Moreau did the honours in the game where Souray went down — but Edmonton grinder Zach Stortini took a run at him near the end of the first period. The hit knocked Iginla into the boards along the Oilers bench, igniting a scuffle that resulted in just one penalty — to Iginla for roughing.
A heavyweight bout took place early in the game as Edmonton's Steve MacIntyre engaged Brian McGrattan in a marathon tilt that saw both bruisers land big shots.