Another surprise ending after a home and home Battle of Alberta. And I’m never going to hear the end of it.
The first shift was good to Lance Bouma who had a couple chances on net. Deryk Engelland hit the post and Sean Monahan picked up the rebound and the Flames were up 1-0 less than 2 minutes into the game.
Brian Elliott looked more sturdy in net as he was tested by the young Oilers crew early. Dennis Wideman couldn’t keep the puck in the oppositions zone, which led to a breakaway chance for the visitong team. Luckily, Elliott was ready and stopped them to keep the score in the Flames favour.
Matthew Tkachuk was getting into the heads of his opponents early which started scuffles and Sam Bennett was there to defend his linemate.
As good as Elliott was doing until that point in the game, he was no match for breakaway McDavid who took a long pass from a teammate and out-skated Mark Giordano to score at the other end of the ice. It was a tied game, 1-1.
Engelland and Maroon danced a little dance on the ice after Maroon took a whack at Johnny Gaudreau. Engelland spared him of his inexcusable actions this time by heeding a mere warning. This would come to a head later in the game.
Before the end of the period, Michael Frolik would skate out from behind the Oilers net, grab the puck, spin, and take a shot on net that would squeak through Talbot and give the Flames the 2-1 edge to end the first 20 minutes. Shots on goal were in favour of the Flames 24-12. Even after only the first period, the game looked much better than the season opener in Edmonton.
When you open a period with a boarding call, it sets the wrong tone. It leads to a penalty-fest for the rest of the period. And Bennett started it off while the Flames went on the penalty kill. During the PK, Bouma had a partial breakaway, but instead of shooting, he passed to TJ Brodie who couldn’t get his stick on the puck.
Giordano took the next penalty after his stick was caught between Eberle’s legs. The Oilers would even the score 2-2.
An undisciplined Pouliot would shove Jyrki Jokipakka into his own goalie and Pouliot would head to the box and force a Flames power play. And a sad power play it would be as the Flames could barely keep the puck in the oppositions zone.
Another penalty by Pouliot would fare about the same with Gaudreau handing the puck right to the Oilers who would clear the zone. It wasn’t a good night for newly re-signed forward as that was not the first or last time Johnny would turn the puck over to the rival team.
Maroon and Engelland would get in each other’s faces again and both would head to the box afterwards.
And then Doigie Hamilton would get a tripping call on Eberle. Eberle was successful all night long in drawing penalties out of the Flames team.
And what’s with Lucic on the Oilers power play??
Bennett and former Flames defenseman, Kris Russell, would exchange pleasantries at the end of the period. The score was tied after 40 minutes, 2-2.
And again the Flames opened the Period with a penalty kill which would result in Draisaitl notching the go-ahead goal for the visiting team. Not a good start for the Calgary team.
Brodie would get away with a big penalty as his stick came up and hit McDavid in the face, causing the young star to bleed. But no call was made. The Oilers retaliated with another goal. The score was 4-2.
After all the penalties that Eberle drew throughout the game, he finally found himself in the box in the third period, giving the home team a chance to shorten the two-goal gap.
No goals would be scored on that Flames power play, but Jokipakka would notch his first as a Flame during even strength and the score would be 4-3. Jokipakka would pick up a great pass by Kris Versteeg on the blue line and score from the side of the net.
But Draisaitl would nab an empty-net goal and finalize the score 5-3 for the Oilers.
Brian Elliott started out well enough, but ended up with a .818 save percentage and 5.08 GAA which makes me wonder if the Flames traded for the same problems as with Hiller and Ramo.
And I am never ever going to hear the end of this from my Oilers-loving sister who makes it hard to be family during hockey season.
Sam Bennett. With 6 penalty minutes, I’m starting to think Bennett may be the next gritty player, proving his position on the ice. With hard hits and attitude, he stood up for his teammates. Bennett made quite an impact with chances on net, creating plays, and being in every play possible. I think this kid is going to get better and better with each passing season.
Lance Bouma. He notched an assist and finished with a plus-one rating. He had a few good shifts with some chances on net. After being plagued by injuries last season, it was good to see him skating hard and playing fast. Let’s hope he isn’t cursed with major injuries again this season. We need more Bouma.
Player of the game:
Matthew Tkachuk. This kid doesn’t take anyone’s shit. He plays hard. He’s a wildcard. At one point in the game, he held off three Oilers in the offensive zone and still held onto the puck. He may be rough around the edges but he’s got lots of potential.
The Flames are back on the ice again tonight as they travel to Vancouver to take on the Canucks.