It didn't take long for the Flames to give the Oilers a man advantage (Edmonton was three-for-14 in the three games prior to tonight), with a roughing call at the 2:49 mark on Kevin Westgarth. Calgary paid for his indiscretion by allowing a marker by Jeff Petry, his sixth of the season with assists by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle.
After a few minutes of skating, the gloves flew off for Westgarth and fellow heavyweight Luke Gadzic. If you remember, Westgarth was knocked out by Gadzic about three weeks ago in the last meeting between these two. This time, the battle was pretty much a draw. Both were assessed five minute penalties. The fight put a little pep in the step for both clubs, but Calgary would capitalize first.
That happened at the 8:30 mark, when the Flames drew even with a TJ Brodie led charge up the ice. He dished to Mike Cammalleri and immediately jumped over Mark Giordano's one timer just a second later. The puck dinked off the post and found the back of the net. It was a nifty play for all three players.
Taylor Hall had a breakaway chance down the left side of the ice, but was prevented from taking a shot by a well-placed defensive play by Brodie with five minutes left in the period.
The Flames went on the man advantage for the first time at 16:01 when Hall was called for hooking. After a quick clear, the Flames held it in Edmonton's zone for an extended assault on the Oilers, but only managed one real shot through the two minutes.
Soon afterward, Eberle cost the Oilers another penalty by jumping off the bench and taking control of the puck before the guy he was replacing could get off the ice. It didn't really seem to bother Edmonton, who killed the penalty easily - passing the puck back and forth up and down the ice - frustrating their compadres in red and white.
First Period Observations
- Don Cherry "used to be a fighter," he sez.
- Shots were tied with nine apiece, face-offs were split with nine for each, and each team had four blocked shots. The only difference in the basic metrics was in hits dished out, with the Flames holding a minuscule 6-5 edge.
- Brodie was seemingly everywhere through the first frame.
Second Period Observations
- Viktor Fasth was holding up well to start the period, but looked beatable even before hot-hand Cammalleri helped the Flames to the lead. I was thinking they would pull him when Edmonton called time after the goal, but they kept him in.
- Calgary scored four times in just 3:05. It was their fastest four goals in over 20 years.
- I was frequently confused by the placement of cameras there at Rexall. I kept looking for the bench, but could only see the penalty box.
Third Period Observations
- The Flames and Oilers played nearly five minutes into the period on the first face-off.
- After Calgary's seventh goal, an Oilers fan (presumably) threw his jersey onto the ice, where Scrivens angrily scooped it up with his stick and flung it back into the crowd. Boos followed the Oilers for the rest of the night.
- Brodie and Giordano finished the night at plus-5.
- There is no mercy rule in hockey, nor should there be. I'd be happy if the Flames beat the Oilers 22-0 every time they played.
- Don't look now, but the Flames have scored 29 goals in their last six games.