The Calgary Flames scored early and often on the way to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night at Rogers Place.
“Individual and system mistakes,” Leon Draisaitl said when asked about the cause of the issues on Saturday. “Little mistakes that are easy to clean up, but obviously you can’t spot a team three goals in back-to-back games.”
“The response in the second and third periods was better, but when you put yourself down the way we did, it’s too big of a hill to climb after being down to that team,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
The teams combined for four goals in the first eight minutes of the game. Mikael Backlund swiped a rebound past Jack Campbell 93 seconds into the game. Cody Ceci provided a quick reply for the Oilers, beating Dan Vladar from the high slot. Michael Stone ripped a shot past a screened Campbell, then Nazem Kadri scored on a breakaway, speeding in a past a stumbling Brett Kulak.
“It’s tough to come back every single night, that’s something we have to address,” Ceci said. “It seems like once we get going, we’re a good team, but you can’t play from behind every single night.”
Andrew Mangiapane made it 4-1 Flames with 9:42 left in the first. Campbell, having allowed four goals on 11 shots, was replaced by Stuart Skinner.
“That’s on us,” Draisaitl said of the poor play that led to the goaltending change.
“It’s tough to win in this league giving up four in a game, let alone a period,” Campbell said. “It wasn’t what I expected of myself, but the boys fought hard and (Skinner) came in and played excellent for us and gave us a chance to win. There’s a few details I can clean up, but I’m not too worried about it.”
The Oilers power play clicked again in the second, with Connor McDavid converting a cross-crease pass from Evander Kane. Ryan Murray set up Ryan McLeod to pull the Oilers within a goal with 5:06 left in the second.
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With Skinner pulled for an extra attacker, the Oilers created a scramble in front of Vladar in the dying seconds but couldn’t persuade the puck to enter the net.
“There’s a lot of stuff to work on. We should have a captive audience when we get back to practicing, because we haven’t started the way we wanted to in the last two games,” Woodcroft said.
Vladar made 26 saves. Skinner stopped all 31 shots he faced.
The Oilers will host Buffalo on Tuesday (Face-off Show 5:30 p.m., game at 7 p.m.)
With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED.
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