Flames streak continues with Battle of Alberta win


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Calgary Flames - Rene Bourque

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan

The Calgary Flames survived an early two-goal deficit and came back to steal a 5-3 win in the Battle of Alberta tonight. Mikael Backlund netted the winner for the Flames, who have won both games versus Edmonton this season.

Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game after goals from Lennart Petrell and Sam Gagner. But the Flames had a quick answer as Jarome Iginla set up Olli Jokinen just 49 seconds later on their first powerplay of the game. Jokinen slipped the puck five hole on Nikolai Khabibulin to cut the lead to one.

The Flames tied the game at two goals apiece about 3 minutes later with a diving effort from Rene Bourque. Borkie’s goal was definitely one for the highlight reel.

After a scoreless 2nd period, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave Oilers fans something to cheer about when he scored the go-ahead goal at 5:27 of the 3rd period. As was the case in the first period, the Oilers lead was very short-lived and Derek Smith tied the game with his second goal of the season at 6:11.

Jarome Iginla lead the Flames with 3 key assists, including Jokinen’s first goal, Smith’s 3-3 game-tying goal and again on Backlund’s game-winning goal in the third period.

Shawn Horcoff is hurtUnlike previous games, where they struggled to find the back of the net, the Flames had balanced scoring, receiving two goals from Olli Jokinen and one each from Rene Bourque, Derek Smith and Mikael Backlund. This is the type of scoring that the Flames need to see more often if they hope for more success on the ice.

As always, Miikka Kiprusoff gave the Flames a chance to win by stopping 26 of 29 shots. But the big reason the Flames took the two points tonight is that they wore down a much smaller and less experienced Oilers team with physical play. The Flames used their size to their advantage and pounded the Oilers every opportunity they had. The Oilers didn’t have a lot of open ice to skate on and every time they touched the puck there was a Calgary jersey right behind them. The usually docile Jay Bouwmeester even took down Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff while the Flames were killing a penalty in the second period.

Calgary earned the win tonight, but the players won’t have much of a chance to soak it in. The Flames head to Vancouver tonight for another road game against the Canucks tomorrow. Following that the Flames will return home for a three-game homestand against Carolina, Colorado and Edmonton.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

  • OldeBuffalo

    The Canucks are a similar team (talent wise) to the Oilers. However, they’re a little older and a lot more experienced than the Greaseballs from Edmonton. They’re also a very fragile when faced with a physical team.

    Boston proved that the Canucks have no backbone when it comes to standing up to any physical threats. During game seven of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston’s Shawn Thornton skated over to the Canuck’s bench and challenged Vigneault to send Glass out to fight him. When the invite was declined, Thornton was left to freely mug any Canuck he chose. Glass was kept in a safe place on the bench for the rest of game seven while Thornton had his way mugging both of the twins. At that point the Canucks were finished and the series was over.

    Now if the Flames can stop the free flowing play of the Canucks the same way they did last night in Edmonton and can still be physical with them, it should be a very satisfying win for our boys in Vancouver.

    If they get caught chasing the ‘Sisters’ then it could be another long night and we’ll be back to being a team plagued with inconsistencies.

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