After having their game against the Vancouver Canucks postponed, the Calgary Flames instead had an extended break before facing off against the Edmonton Oilers for the seventh round of this season’s Battle of Alberta. The Flames were without Mikael Backlund due to injury, so Dillon Dube slotted back into the lineup in his place. On defence, Juuso Valimaki also dressed again in replacement of Nikita Nesterov after being scratched for two games.
Despite being a rested team, the Flames opened up the game rather flatfooted. Oilers were all systems go while the Flames seemed content to sit back. Despite not putting up many shot attempts, the Flames would be the first team to score, as Michael Stone picked up his first goal of the season and first goal since January 5, 2020 against the Minnesota Wild. A slapshot on the blueline beat Mike Smith cleanly and the Flames got ahead early.
In the second period, the Oilers quickly tied the game up on the power play. Chris Tanev was called for a tripping penality, and just 13 seconds into the man-advantage the Oilers converted thanks to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tucking a backhand shot past Jacob Markstrom.
Just a few minutes later, Matthew Tkachuk scored a highlight reel goal coming out of the penalty box to restore the Flames’ lead. Easily one of Tkachuk’s best goals in 2021, it came at a great time for Calgary.
However, the Oilers pressed back, and on some questionable defensive zone play by the Flames, Dominik Kahun was fed a well-placed pass right in the crease to tie the game up again at two goals apiece. Much like how the Oilers were better in the first but ended the period down a goal, the Flames had a much better second period, but ceded two goals to Edmonton to see their efforts lead to a tie game after forty minutes of play.
In the third period, the Oilers got their first lead of the game. The Flames were back on the penalty kill with Noah Hanifin slated to sit for two minutes for interference, but just four seconds into the Oilers’ power play, a faceoff won by Edmonton led to a puck corralled by Connor McDavid led to a shot that snuck past Markstrom.
The Flames pressed back after the goal, but were not able to score again. Calgary drops the seventh round of the Battle of Alberta 3-2. The season series now sees the Flames sitting at 2-5-0.
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