Flames’ top line combines for 11 points in wild win over Oilers

Matthew Tkachuk had two goals and two assists and Johnny Gaudreau had a career-high five assists on Saturday to lead the Calgary Flames to a wild 9-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored twice for Calgary (40-17-8) with Chris Tanev, Oliver Kylington and Dillon Dube adding one each.

Tkachuk has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in the last four games while Gaudreau also has 11 points in that same span (three goals, eight assists).

Leon Draisaitl had a hat-trick to lead the attack for Edmonton (36-25-5) with Derick Brassard and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring one each.

Jacob Markstrom had 26 saves for Calgary. He is 31-12-7.

Mike Smith, in relief of Mikko Koskinen, ended up with the loss to fall to 7-9-2. He stopped 22-of-26 shots he faced. Koskinen allowed five goals on 12 shots.

The two provincial rivals ended up splitting the four-game season series.

In front of a raucous crowd of 19,289, Calgary’s first sellout since February 21, 2020 against Boston, the game was an exhilarating thrill ride from start to finish with the goals coming seemingly non-stop.

Tied 4-4 early in the second, the Flames took their third and final lead of the night on a pair of goals less than three minutes apart from Tkachuk.

WATCH | Tkachuk scores twice in high-scoring affair:

Matthew Tkachuk scored twice including the winner as Flames defeat Oilers

2 hours ago

Duration 2:07

Calgary poured nine goals into the Oiler net including a pair from Matthew Tkachuk Saturday night claiming victory in the battle of Alberta 9-5. 2:07

At 5:06, Gaudreau muscled his way past Evan Bouchard to retrieve a loose puck, he then spun and sent a pass into the slot to a wide open Tkachuk, who sent a shot through Koskinen’s pads. That ended the night for Koskinen.

It didn’t start off any better for Smith, who was beaten between the pads by Tkachuk at 7:39 when an Oilers turnover in their own end allowed Gaudreau to find Tkachuk in behind the defence.

Brandishing a lethal power play, back roared the Oilers again, making it 6-5 when they converted a two-man advantage they got when Erik Gudbranson was sent off for high-sticking three seconds into an Andrew Mangiapane penalty.

Draisitl’s third of the game at 9:18 of the second and 47th of the season brought over about 50 hats from the boisterous Oilers supporters scattered throughout the red-clad sellout crowd.

But Edmonton would draw no closer, thanks in part to a clutch stop by Markstrom early in the third.

After he robbed Evander Kane after he was set up in front on a great passing sequence with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi that would have tied it, the Flames pushed the puck up ice with Gaudreau setting up Lindholm for his second of the night.

The Flames added an insurance goal just over three minutes later when Backlund notched his second, whipping a shot inside the post.

Edmonton wasted little time jumping into a 1-0 lead when Brassard deflected Bouchard’s point shot past Markstrom just 32 seconds into the game.

But the Oilers’ only lead of the night lasted less than five minutes.

Lindholm was sent in alone on a pass from Tkachuk and he went to his backhand, putting a shot under the crossbar.

The Flames than surged in front on goals 16 seconds apart.

At 14:23, Tanev got behind the Oilers defence and while he was stopped, the rebound bounced in off the skate of Darnell Nurse.

Calgary made it 3-1 when Backlund was left uncovered in the slot and he one-timed Mangiapane’s centring pass into the top corner.

But the Oilers cut the deficit in half with 59 seconds remaining in the period. Nugent-Hopkins dropped in a perfect pass behind the Flames defence that Draisaitl swooped in off the wing, collected, and as he cut across the slot, he beat Markstrom inside the far post.

Before the period ended, Backlund knocked McDavid to the ice as he skated past him and was sent off for interference.

That led to Edmonton getting it back to even at 3-3 on another power-play goal with Draisaitl taking advantage of the glistening fresh ice to start the second period to score 44 seconds in.

View original article here Source