Resurgent Oilers outbattle Flames
Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff each had a goal and an assist, and Mathieu Garon stopped 26 shots Sunday as the Edmonton Oilers took the latest instalment of the Battle of Alberta with a 2-1 home win over the Calgary Flames.
The victory was the fifth in six games for Edmonton, (21-21-4), which, prior to Sunday, had lost six straight.
Though they're still five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Oilers moved back to the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 18, and have a winning record at home after taking the first four of a crucial five-game homestand.
"This was a big step for us," Horcoff said. "We had won three in a row and we could have had a real letdown if we had come out and had a bad effort against these guys. We need wins. We need to go on a roll. And we came out and played hard and it was a good result for us."
Daymond Langkow scored the only goal for Calgary (22-16-8), which is headed in the opposite direction. The Flames, who got 26 saves from Miikka Kiprusoff, have dropped three in a row since winning five consecutive games.
"In our last few games, let's be honest, we've slipped a bit and we have to get back at it," admitted Calgary captain Jarome Iginla.
The Oilers took a 1-0 lead on a power play eight minutes in when Jarret Stoll's point shot caromed off the boards behind the net straight to the stick of Horcoff, who swept in his 19th of the season past Kiprusoff.
Edmonton stretched its lead 35 seconds into the second period on a tremendous effort by Hemsky. He danced around Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr and then deked Kiprusoff before putting a backhander into the net to make it 2-0.
Calgary got on the board three minutes into the third as Langkow shovelled in a long rebound off Jarome Iginla's shot off a rush.
The Flames applied some late pressure, but Garon was up to the task, securing the win by getting a glove on Kristian Huselius's shot from inside the blue line as time expired.