The Calgary Flames can finally put it in the win column, thanks to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Flames held off a late push from the Oilers to win the Battle of Alberta, and earn two points tonight in Calgary.
Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester combined in the first period, to give the Flames a 2-0 lead. Curtis Glencross took a late penalty – that some may dispute – which put the Oilers on the powerplay. After a quick face-off win, and point-to-point passes, Oilers rookie Justin Schultz scored to pull the Oilers within one goal.
Glencross negated his error with an early goal in the second period to reclaim the 2-goal lead for the Flames. Edmonton answered with a powerplay goal by Jordan Eberle. But before the period was up, Lee Stempniak added the eventual game-winner for the Flames on a tip in after a beautiful pass by Bouwmeester.
The Oilers added a 3rd goal with less than a second to go, but it wasn’t enough and the Flames earned their first win of the season. It was a 4-3 final.
It’s necessary to call out a few different Flames players who played well. JayBo, with a goal and an assist, had his best game of the season, as did Jarome Iginla and Lee Stempniak. Mike Cammalleri also had his best game of the season, though he has yet to find the back of the net in 2013.
I’m a huge fan of Blair Jones, who played a great game tonight, and I was also happy to see Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka in there for the Flames. They took the pressure off the first line of Iginla, Glencross and Tanguay and controlled the puck for the Flames.
The win was a great one for the Calgary Flames, but it’s only one win, after all. The season is short, and there’s a lot of hockey to play, but having 3 of a possible 8 points at the start of the season isn’t the way the Flames hoped to start the season. Hopefully they can build on this victory when the head to Denver on Thursday.