Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:21 am
Stempniak leads Flames past Oilers 4-3
The Associated Press
Jay Bouwmeester, Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross also scored for Calgary. New Czech acquisitions Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka both played well in their debut on a line centered by Matt Stajan with Hudler picking up an assist.
The Flames got off to a bad start to the season with back-to-back home losses last weekend before picking up a point in a shootout loss in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Sam Gagner, Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton, which was outshot 35-20.
Stempniak's power-play goal at 14:57 of the second period, restoring a two-goal cushion for the Flames at 4-2, was set up on a beautiful effort by Bouwmeester. The Flames defenseman pinched in from the blue-line, made a slick move to fool Ladislav Smid, then zipped a hard pass across the top of the crease that was neatly deflected in by Stempniak.
That goal would turn out to be the winning goal as the Oilers, with goaltender Devan Dubnyk pulled for an extra skater, got a goal from Gagner with 2 seconds left.
Despite having won two of its first three games, the Oilers entered the night not having led yet in a game and that trend continued as goals by Backlund and Bouwmeester gave Calgary a 2-0 first-period lead.
Backlund's goal at 5:16 came when he banged a loose puck under Dubnyk from the top of the crease after Mike Cammalleri got it there by neatly weaving his way through the slot.
Bouwmeester made it 2-0 at 14:25, ripping a wrist shot past Dubnyk from the blue line with Jarome Iginla providing a screen.
The Oilers cut the gap to one after taking just 5 seconds to convert a power play in the final minute of the first period.
With Glencross off for goaltender interference, Edmonton won the faceoff back to the blue line where Eberle slid the puck across to Schultz and the impressive Oilers rookie wristed a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff at 19:19.
Calgary restored its two-goal lead four minutes into the second period when Iginla's centering pass was tapped in by Glencross who was wide open on the far side of the net.
Eberle got the Oilers back to within one again with Edmonton's second power-play goal of the night. Breaking off the sideboards, Eberle looked off Bouwmeester, then neatly dodged the stick check of Stajan before wiring a shot into the top corner.
NOTES: Calgary has won 10 of the last 12 games between the two teams. ... Since Taylor Hall was born 21 years ago, Calgary and Edmonton have made the playoffs in the same season only once - in 2005-06. ... With the debut of Hudler and Cervenka, the Flames had two Czechs in their lineup for the first time since Jan. 29, 2003, when they had Petr Buzek and Roman Turek. ... The teams don't meet again until April 1. They'll meet three times in the season's final month. ... After this four-day layoff, Calgary's has no more than two days off between games the rest of the season.