Flames use furious comeback to top Oilers in feisty Battle of Alberta
Calgary scores 4 unanswered to clinch victory
Elias Lindholm is having a breakout season with Calgary.
Lindholm scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and the Flames rallied from two down to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Saturday night.
After deflecting Noah Hanifin's point shot into Mikko Koskinen's pads, Lindholm knocked in the rebound at 9:10 of the third. He added an empty-netter for his team-leading 11th goal — his career high is 17 set in 2014-15.
"He's a high-end player. He has been his whole life," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "Takes faceoffs, kills penalties, can play 4-on-4, plays on the power play. He touches the game in a lot of different areas."
Lindholm, acquired from Carolina in the offseason, was drafted fifth overall in 2013, one spot ahead of linemate Sean Monahan.
Monahan, with a goal and an assist, and Derek Ryan also scored for Calgary.
Watch highlights from Calgary's comeback:
Connor McDavid and Alex Chiasson scored for Edmonton, which has lost five of six.
Down 2-1 entering the third period, Calgary tied it at 2:40 when Monahan rattled home a rebound of Travis Hamonic's shot.
It was the sixth time the Flames have come back to win when trailing after two periods, most in the NHL.
"A lot of times we play unreal in the third, but you don't want to chase the game too much," Lindholm said. "It's not going to work all the time to be down before the third. It's something we need to work on."
The Flames were down 2-0 before Ryan ended a 14-game scoring drought with his second of the season at 16:23 of the second period.
Until then, the Flames' listless power play had given up just as many shots as it had generated, with two of the three allowed being breakaways.
Standing tall in net was David Rittich, who improved to 6-1-0. Included in his 24 stops were three breakaways — two for Leon Draisaitl and one by Jujhar Khaira.
"It's my job. It's a great feeling, but that's why I'm in the net — making saves," Rittich said.
With fellow goalie Mike Smith struggling, Rittich delivered the type of quality start Calgary needed after dropping three of its previous four games.
"He was huge. There were a couple breakaways and odd-man rushes. He made some big stops. When that happens it makes you want to go hard," Monahan said.
Koskinen, who turned aside 33 shots, fell to 4-2-0.
"It felt like we ran out of gas a little bit. We spent the whole third in our own zone," he said.
Edmonton increased its lead to 2-0 at 3:49 of the second when Draisaitl set up McDavid on a perfectly executed 2-on-1. Rittich had no chance to get across and stop the one-timer.
The Oilers took the lead 2:29 into the game while short-handed. Playing against his former team, Chiasson broke in off the wing and slipped a backhand through Rittich's pads.
It was a physical game, especially early, with Mikael Backlund and McDavid wrestling at one point. Sam Bennett and Darnell Nurse squared off after Bennett, on the first shift of the game, rocked the Oilers defenseman with a heavy hit.
Matthew Tkachuk was in the middle of the action, getting jumped by Zack Kassian late in the first period, which drew a triple minor for roughing and a misconduct on the Oilers' rugged forward.
Hip Check: Things got nasty in the Battle of Alberta
"We had an opportunity to go ahead two or three and that may have changed the game, on some of the breakaways, but their goaltender played well," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said.
"Too many penalties. Their top players didn't have to play a lot of hard minutes. They were on the power play the whole first two (periods), so by the time you get to the third, they have some gas left in their tanks and they certainly took it to us."