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Stajan Alive: Oilers Eliminated

Even Edmonton fans agree. The Flames ARE better than the Oilers. Edmonton guarantees their tee times on April 14th.

First Period

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

The Battle of Alberta resumed with 48 seconds left on the Flames power play. It ended at the 0:29 mark when Mikael Backlund was called for Holding the Stick of Matt Hendricks. After 19 seconds of four-on-four, the Oilers started a slightly shorter-than-average power play which the Flames managed to kill off pretty well. It ended with a Ryan Smith shot from point blank which Karri Ramo stonewalled with his stick and his shinguards.

Mike Cammalleri (23) staked the Flames to a 2-1 lead just over four minutes into the frame with a Backlund assisted one-timer which beat Viktor Fasth over the glove side.

Matt Stajan had a breakaway chance, but his stick was slashed by Mark Fraser. The indiscretion resulted in a penalty shot, which Stajan converted (now two-for-six lifetime) for his 11th goal of the campaign (unassisted, of course).

The bloodletting continued just a minute later, when at the 6-minute mark Cammalleri held the puck for almost two seconds before finding Paul Byron (6) on the right side of the net for another one timer and a 4-1 Calgary lead.

Curtis Glencross (8) put an end to Fasth's night with Calgary's fifth marker of the night, and fourth of the period with a wrist shot from the left side of the goal over the embattled goalies right shoulder. Ben Scrivens took the ice at the 7:18 mark. Assists were awarded on the play to Stajan and Giordano, but this one was all Glencross (My new favorite player? It's between him and Brodie).

After the fifth goal and the arrival of Scrivens, the Oilers would wake up a little, not allowing the Flames to get another shot on net for eight minutes, a power play breakaway by Jiri Hudler.

Brad Ferrence gave the Flames their third power play of the evening when he tripped Cammalleri with six minutes to play in the period. Aside from the Hudler shot, the Oilers pretty much dictated play during the two minute kill, clearing the puck four times.

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

The teams started out going four-on-four from an altercation as time expired in the second, with Cammalleri and Anton Lander in the sin bin. They would play out the string and resume five-on-five hockey at the two minute mark.

Stajan passed the rock to Glencross at the five minute mark deep in the Oilers zone, and Glencross (9) made it a 6-1 contest by beating Scrivens through the five-hole. Stajan and Hudler got the assists.

Just a minute later, Westgarth scored his second goal of the season, redirecting a Tyler Wotherspoon shot into the net for a six goal Calgary lead. Smid also earned a helper on the play.

Glencross scored his third goal of the game (10) at the 13:19 mark. Stajan and Russell earned the assists. Even though the game was in Edmonton, a few "C" hats landed on the ice in honour of Curtis' accomplishment. It was his first hat trick since last March 15th, in a 6-3 Calgary win over the Nashville Predators, and his third overall.

Eight goals would be just enough to earn the win, as both teams traded chances through the rest of the game.

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.
Thanks for reading the recap. The Flames next host the San Jose Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday night. Until then, keep it locked down at Matchsticks and Gasoline for all of your Flames news.