With Michael Frolik injured and Ladislav Smid, Brandon Bollig, and Josh Jooris scratched, the Flames had a tough Battle Of Alberta ahead. Karri Ramo started in net and Lance Bouma played his second game since returning from injury. Mark Giordano/T.J. Brodie, Michael Ferland/Mikael Backlund/Joe Colborne were the starting lineup.
It was all Flames on the first 15 minutes of the game in spite of the 2-0 lead the Oilers had to end the period. Backlund and Bennett provided the grit while Dougie Hamilton played smart hockey in the defensive zone. Nilsson looked shaky but the Flames couldn't capitalize on the Oilers goalie lack of confidence in the opening period. Johnny Gaidrau had a plethora of chances but could bury the puck. Kris Russell made an important save in net as Ramo was out of position. But Pouliot had a lucky break twice and the Oilers were up going into the second.
The Flames made their comeback in the second period. A sweet pass from Brodie to Johnny put the Flames on the board. The score was 2-1. Just after Nilsson robbed Brodie of a sure goal, which Brodie uncharacteristically showed his frustration, the Flames went on the powerplay but couldn't get another goal to tie the game. The Oilers scored again to set the score at 3-1, but a surprise short-handed goal from the Flames, Matt Stajan, put the Flames within one goal of the Oilers. With another powerplay, the Flames captain, Gio, capitalized and evened the score at 3-3. Before the end of the period, that Johnny magic showed up again to put the Flames ahead 4-3 to end the middle frame.
The Oilers made a goalie change to start the final period, but it wouldn't be enough to hold off the Flames. Lance Bouma stood in front of the net but couldn't bury a goal and the home team peppered the Oilers goal but couldn't solve Talbot. One more powerplay led the Flames to another Giordano goal, the Flames first game with multiple powerplay goals, and a 5-3 final score.
With that, the Flames have now won 11 consecutive home games and are ahead in the Battle Of Alberta match-up 2 games to 1. And let's take a moment to sing the praises of Johnny Gaudreau, shall we? 2 goals, 6 shots on net, over 21 minutes of ice time tonight, 7 points in his last 5 games, 39 points in 35 games so far this season, and a plethora of praise on social media, Gaudreau has easily become the golden boy of the Flames franchise.
Flame Of The Game
Sam Bennett. With 4 shots on net and 5 hits, Bennett played amazingly well tonight. He was gritty, focused, and 11:52 minutes of ice time, I only have one question - why isn't he playing more?? We need more Sam Bennett. He had a lot of chance on net in his time on ice and he made a statement every shift he had. Yeah, he's on a 13 game scoreless streak, but sometimes the greatest players don't always score a copious amount of goals. Keep in mind that Bennett is a mere 19 years old and has been in the NHL for one season (I don't count last season as a full year because he played only 1 game last season). With 14 points in 34 games this year, his confidence is off the charts, his skill level is high, and he pushes his boundaries every game. If he keeps progressing at the rate he's going, I see good things in his future.
"Playing the body is part of my game and I tried to do that tonight." - Sam Bennett on his presence this evening pic.twitter.com/7aWdfZKE8O— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 28, 2015
The Calgary Flames are hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in hopes of making it 12 home wins.