NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, January 26th
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (2-1-0) at Calgary Flames (0-2-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After pulling off a thrilling comeback win against the
defending Stanley Cup champions, the Edmonton Oilers will try to stay hot when
they visit the Calgary Flames for Saturday's battle at the Saddledome.
The Oilers were seconds away from suffering a regulation loss Thursday against
the Los Angeles Kings, but Nail Yakupov tied the game late in the third period
and Sam Gagner won it in overtime to send the home crowd at Rexall Place into
The Kings, who won their franchise's first Cup last spring, appeared to have
the game wrapped up after killing off a Jeff Carter penalty that saw a goal
waved off. On the play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins one-timed the puck into the net
with 1:05 to play and it was initially ruled a goal, but the refs overturned
it after a review as Gagner was ruled to have interfered with the goaltender.
After the game was delayed for several minutes as upset fans littered the ice
with debris, the Oilers went back to work.
With Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk pulled for an extra attacker, the Oilers
won the left circle face-off and an initial shot from the high slot was
stopped, but Taylor Hall used a turnaround shot to get it on net. Quick made
the stop, but Yakupov was there at the right side to bang the puck in out of
the air with 4.7 seconds showing on the game clock.
In overtime, Carter was in the box after Los Angeles was called for too many
men on the ice. Nugent-Hopkins received a pass from Gagner at the left circle.
Gagner then charged the net and Nugent-Hopkins fed him for the winner with
1:59 left in overtime for the win.
"It's a good feeling to come out with the win," Gagner said.
Dubnyk stopped 30 shots in the victory for the Oilers, who have won two of
three on the season.
Calgary is 0-2-1 on the season, but the Flames were able to secure their first
point of the campaign in Wednesday's shootout loss to Vancouver. Zack Kassian
scored the winner in the shootout, helping the Canucks to a 3-2 win at Rogers
In the fifth round, Kassian faked to the backhand and slipped the disc past
Miikka Kiprusoff. Curtis Glencross had the last chance for Calgary, but his
wrist shot was stopped by Cory Schneider.
Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund each scored a goal for the Flames, while
Kiprusoff turned aside 34 shots in defeat.
"He was great for us -- he's one of the best goalies in the world," Backlund
said of Kiprusoff.
The Flames are 0-2-1 for the first time since 2007-08 season and the franchise
hasn't lost four in a row to begin a season since 1975-76, when the club was
located in Atlanta.
Calgary last went winless in its first four games in 1999-2000, when the
Flames were 0-3 with a tie.
Forward Jiri Hudler is set to make his debut with the Flames on Saturday
after sitting out training camp and the first three games of the season to
deal with the death of his father. Hudler had spent his entire NHL career with
the Detroit Red Wings before signing a four-year, $16 million deal with
Calgary in the offseason.
Hudler's Czech countryman, Roman Cervenka, is also expected to make his NHL
debut on Saturday. The 27-year-old undrafted free agent is slated to skate on
a line with Hudler and centerman Matt Stajan.
The Flames won four of six encounters against Edmonton in 2011-12, but the
Oilers claimed the last two meetings. Calgary has still won 16 of the last 19
contests against the Oilers overall and four of the previous five at the
01/26 11:01:00 ET