(SportsNetwork.com) – The Calgary Flames have slowed down since their fast
start to the season, but rookie Johnny Gaudreau might have just jump-started
Gaudreau and Flames put forth a big rally last time out and hope to stay in
the win column on Saturday night as they take on the lowly Edmonton Oilers.
Calgary improved to 17-8-2 with a victory over Colorado on Dec. 4, but then
lost seven straight in regulation and another game in overtime ahead of
Monday’s road meeting with the Los Angeles Kings.
Things didn’t look good for the Flames when they fell behind by three goals,
but Gaudreau helped his club battle back for a 4-3 overtime victory with his
first NHL hat trick.
Gaudreau got the Flames on the board with 1:58 left in the second period, then
scored twice in the final 2:12 of the third frame with the goaltender pulled.
His third tally came with 59 seconds on the clock.
Calgary captain and defenseman Mark Giordano then won it with 53 seconds left
in the extra period.
“You know, we fell behind but the guys were great on the bench, they were
great in the room and we felt like we had a chance,” Flames head coach Bob
Hartley said. “Johnny is so smart and so competitive. We’re all talking about
his speed and his skill, but look how competitive he is.”
Gaudreau’s milestone came in his 36th career game and the 21-year-old has 10
goals on the season. He also ranks second among NHL rookies with 27 points.
Jonas Hiller made 31 saves while Jiri Hudler and Dennis Wideman each supplied
two assists for the Flames, who open a six-game homestand tonight that
includes another visit from the Oilers on Wednesday.
Hiller may get the start tonight and he has excellent career numbers in this
matchup, going 13-4-1 with a 1.98 goals against average and .931 save
percentage in 21 meetings, including 18 starts, with the Oilers.
Edmonton has not been able to show the same kind of competitiveness, having
lost eight in a row (0-6-2) while going 1-13-6 in its past 20. The Oilers are
last in the NHL with 21 points.
The Oilers were defeated 5-1 by the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. Two former
Oilers helped the Coyotes to a win, with Sam Gagner scoring twice with four
points and Devan Dubnyk making 26 saves.
Justin Schultz was Edmonton’s lone scorer.
After Ben Scrivens allowed two goals on three shots in the first five minutes
of the game, Viktor Fasth relieved him and made 16 saves on 19 shots.
“It’s going off our sticks and off our skates,” said Oilers winger Jordan
Eberle. “You just seem like you can’t get a break. You have to create them.”
Fasth may start this game and is 2-1-0 with a 2.85 GAA and .913 save
percentage in three career meetings with the Flames. Scrivens is 0-2-0 against
them with a 3.96 GAA and .836 save percentage in three games (2 starts).
The Flames have won three in a row versus the Oilers, including a 5-2 victory
in Edmonton on Oct. 9 in the first of five meetings.
Edmonton, though, has won four of its past five trips to Calgary.