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Flames Fall to Oilers on Opening Night

The 2016-17 NHL Season kicked off in Edmonton on Wednesday night

NHL: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames and Edmonton Oilers opened up their 2016-17 seasons tonight at Rogers Place in Edmonton. It was also the official opening of Rogers Place as the Flames looked to start the arena off in the same way they closed down Rexall Place with a win.

The Flames finished last season with a disappointing 35-40-7 record and all of that began with a very poor 2-8-1 start. The Flames did however go 3-1-1 against Edmonton last season.

6 players made their Calgary Flames debut tonight (Kris Versteeg, Matthew Tkachuk, Troy Brouwer, Alex Chiasson, Nicklas Grossmann, Brian Elliott).

Matthew Tkachuk also made his NHL debut while Oiler #4 overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi makes his as well.

1st Period

Nicklas Grossmann’s career with the Flames would start off horribly by turning over the puck. The Oilers would get the puck in the slot and the shot would be deflected into the net by Patrick Maroon to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead 1:10 into the game.

36 seconds later Alex Chiasson would bang home his own rebound to tie the game at 1 just like that. Matt Stajan and Lance Bouma would get assists on the goal. Not even two minutes into the life of Rogers Place and the score was 1-1.

Matthew Tkachuk would get into the scoresheet shortly after by taking a boarding penalty on a big hit on former Flame Kris Russell. The Flames would kill off the penalty.

Grossmann would make another turnover this time in the offensive zone and the Oilers would get the two-on-one before Tyler Pitlick would wire the puck under Elliott’s arm into the net. 2-1 Oilers 5:34 into the 1st. 2 goals on 2 shots.

Zach Kassian would be gifted a breakaway goal on a terrible change by the Flames and make it 3-1 Edmonton.

The Flames would muster a few shots and so would the Oilers for the rest of the period but nothing else would find the net. The opening period ends with the Oilers ahead of the Flames 3-1 and shots sitting at 10-9 for Edmonton.

2nd Period

The Flames would get an early powerplay as Patrick Maroon was sent off for two minutes for boarding Mark Giordano.

The powerplay would have a lot of solid opportunities and shots including one that was saved by an Oiler defenceman behind Cam Talbot. The Flames wouldn’t be able to score but seized some momentum from the power play.

Calgary had a very solid opening five minutes of the period as they would throw 9 shots onto Talbot before Edmonton would get their first.

Mark Giordano would take a holding penalty on Connor McDavid and the Flames would hold the Oilers to the outside.

Then on the penalty kill, Troy Brouwer would intercept a breakout pass in the neutral side before deking through a couple Oilers and scored a shorthanded breakaway goal to cut the deficit to 3-2. Brouwer’s goal was Calgary’s first shorthanded goal of the season after scoring ten last year.

Dougie Hamilton would be sent to the box shortly after when he rammed McDavid into the post and send Calgary to another penalty kill.

And would you look at that? ANOTHER SHORTHANDED GOAL!!! This time by Michael Frolik on a weird play in front of Talbot after Backlund drove hard to the net. Two shorties and the game is tied at 3. Make that two this year on the shorthanded tally.

The Oilers would take the lead shortly after when a shot wide of the net bounced off the boards before McDavid tucked it in through Elliott. It’s a goal that Elliott would love to have back. 4-3 Edmonton.

Connor McDavid would make it 5-3 on a penalty shot later in the period, even though Johnny had been hooked right before the play with no call.

Calgary would get penalized AGAIN and then kill it off before Matt Stajan would draw a penalty on Andrej Sekera. The Flames wouldn’t be able to score on the man advantage and the period would end with Edmonton ahead 5-3. Shots for the period were 20-9 for Calgary, and the Flames led 29-19 in the game.

3rd Period

Dennis Wideman would be penalized early in the third for interference but the Flames would manage to kill it off again.

Jesse Puljujarvi would get a powerplay goal on a shot that should’ve been saved but also should’ve never happened when the ref got in the way of a puck that the Flames were sending down the ice. The puck hit the ref and landed right on Puljujarvi’s stick where he was alone. 6-3 Oilers.

The Flames would answer on their own powerplay when Dennis Wideman would actually hit the net (I know I’m shocked too) and make it 6-4. Brodie and Bennett with the assists.

The rest of the period wouldn’t lead to much and Jordan Eberle would seal the game with an empty netter with 1:22 to go making it 7-4 Oilers.

The game ends with Edmonton winning 7-4 and the final shots finish 41-28 for the Flames.

The Good:

  1. The special teams looked pretty good tonight, a PP goal/2 SH goals
  2. The Flames won 60% of the faceoffs in the game and had 41 shots

The Bad:

  1. Poor discipline sending the Oilers to 6 powerplays
  2. Not creating anything in the 3rd to get back in the game

The Ugly:

  1. Nicklas Grossmann. Two turnovers leading to the first two EDM goals. Noticeably bad when on the ice despite only 11:32 of ice time.
  2. Brian Elliott had an ugly six goals put up on him tonight. However, I think he can only be faulted on two of them. The first two were bad turnovers, third was a bad change breakaway, fourth he probably should’ve gotten to beside the net, fifth was a penalty shot on a questionable call, and sixth he probably should’ve had after the ref knocked down the puck on an attempted clear.

The Flames start the season with a loss for the 7th straight season and sit 0-1-0. Their next game is a rematch Friday night against the Oilers at the Saddledome. Puck drop is at 7PM MT.