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Flames start fast, hang on to beat host Oilers 4-3

Calgary Flames' Dillon Dube (29) and Edmonton Oilers' Tyson Barrie (22) battle for the puck during first period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, October 15, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — It is already the best start for the Calgary Flames in a dozen years.

Defenceman Michael Stone had a goal and two assists as the Flames got a bit of revenge for last season’s playoff ousting by Edmonton, defeating the Oilers 4-3 on Saturday.

It was the first time since the 2009-2010 season that the Flames have won their first two games of the NHL regular season.

“The first period was good, we came out with a lot of energy and did some good things,” said Stone, who recorded his first-ever three-point game in the NHL as the Flames grabbed a 4-1 lead in the first period.

“We kind of got back on our heels a little bit in the second, but we managed to turn it back around in the third and finished the game off well, which was good to see.

“We didn’t panic. We know what it takes to win and what little things need to be done to win in this league.”

Mikael Backlund, Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for the Flames

Kadri said the way the Flames withstood an Oilers comeback attempt was a positive sign.

“I am happy with the way we played,” Kadri said. “It shows a lot of maturity. We have a mature group in here and I don’t think anyone really hit the panic button.” 

Cody Ceci, Connor McDavid and Ryan McLeod scored for the Oilers (1-1), who also trailed by three goals in their first game against Vancouver before rallying to win 5-3.

“We had a couple of whacks at the end, we were hoping one of those squeaks through. It wasn’t meant to be,” said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who had two assists.

“Just individual and system mistakes, they’re little mistakes that are easy to clean up. We can’t spot a team three goals in back-to-back nights. That’s something we have to address, obviously.”

The Flames got off to a quick start, scoring 1:13 into the opening frame when Backlund was able to deposit the rebound in front after Oilers' starter Jack Campbell made the initial save on a deflected shot.

Edmonton erased that early lead 3:18 into the first on a broken pass that ended up going back to Ceci, who beat Flames goalie Dan Vladar on a long shot to the glove side.

Calgary regained the advantage just over a minute later at 4:34 as Stone was able to send a shot through heavy traffic that found its way into the net.

The Flames made it 3-1 three minutes later on the power play as Oilers defender Brett Kulak wiped out, allowing Kadri a clear lane to the net and he made no mistake in scoring his first goal for Calgary.

The Flames added to their lead midway through the first as Mangiapane banged home a rebound from the blue paint after Campbell made the initial save. The Oilers brought in backup Stuart Skinner to replace Campbell, who allowed four goals on 11 shots.

Edmonton got one back on the power play midway through the second period as Evander Kane made a great pass on the doorstep across to McDavid, who scored his fourth of the season.

The Oilers made it a one-goal game with five minutes left in the second as Ryan Murray pushed up from defence and ended up sending a feed in front from behind the net to McLeod, who sent it past Vladar.

There was no scoring in the third period, despite a final flurry by the Oilers at the end.

Calgary outshot the Oilers 42-28 in the game.

Skinner had 31 saves in the loss.


The game was one of just three regular-season matchups between the bitter provincial rivals and the only one in Edmonton. The two teams will play in Calgary on Oct. 29 and they’ll again play in Calgary on Dec. 27 to conclude the Battle of Alberta for this season … It wasn’t surprising to see Vladar get the start in net for the Flames. In the five playoff games against the Oilers last year, usual starter Jacob Markstrom allowed 24 goals … Both teams won their season openers by 5-3 scores, as the Oilers defeated the Vancouver Canucks after trailing 3-0 early in the second period and the Flames beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.


Both teams are off until Tuesday. The Flames begin a mammoth eight-game homestand when they host the Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers play the third game of a six-game homestand against the Buffalo Sabres. Edmonton starts the season with nine of its first 12 contests on home ice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2022. 

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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