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Oilers, Flames collide in Calgary

12:18 PM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - After pulling off a thrilling comeback win against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Edmonton Oilers will try to stay hot when they visit the Calgary Flames for Saturday's battle at the Saddledome.

The Oilers were seconds away from suffering a regulation loss Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, but Nail Yakupov tied the game late in the third period and Sam Gagner won it in overtime to send the home crowd at Rexall Place into a frenzy.

The Kings, who won their franchise's first Cup last spring, appeared to have the game wrapped up after killing off a Jeff Carter penalty that saw a goal waved off. On the play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins one-timed the puck into the net with 1:05 to play and it was initially ruled a goal, but the refs overturned it after a review as Gagner was ruled to have interfered with the goaltender.

After the game was delayed for several minutes as upset fans littered the ice with debris, the Oilers went back to work.

With Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk pulled for an extra attacker, the Oilers won the left circle face-off and an initial shot from the high slot was stopped, but Taylor Hall used a turnaround shot to get it on net. Quick made the stop, but Yakupov was there at the right side to bang the puck in out of the air with 4.7 seconds showing on the game clock.

In overtime, Carter was in the box after Los Angeles was called for too many men on the ice. Nugent-Hopkins received a pass from Gagner at the left circle. Gagner then charged the net and Nugent-Hopkins fed him for the winner with 1:59 left in overtime for the win.

"It's a good feeling to come out with the win," Gagner said.

Dubnyk stopped 30 shots in the victory for the Oilers, who have won two of three on the season.

Calgary is 0-2-1 on the season, but the Flames were able to secure their first point of the campaign in Wednesday's shootout loss to Vancouver. Zack Kassian scored the winner in the shootout, helping the Canucks to a 3-2 win at Rogers Arena.

In the fifth round, Kassian faked to the backhand and slipped the disc past Miikka Kiprusoff. Curtis Glencross had the last chance for Calgary, but his wrist shot was stopped by Cory Schneider.

Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund each scored a goal for the Flames, while Kiprusoff turned aside 34 shots in defeat.

"He was great for us -- he's one of the best goalies in the world," Backlund said of Kiprusoff.

The Flames are 0-2-1 for the first time since 2007-08 season and the franchise hasn't lost four in a row to begin a season since 1975-76, when the club was located in Atlanta.

Calgary last went winless in its first four games in 1999-2000, when the Flames were 0-3 with a tie.

Forward Jiri Hudler is set to make his debut with the Flames on Saturday after sitting out training camp and the first three games of the season to deal with the death of his father. Hudler had spent his entire NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings before signing a four-year, $16 million deal with Calgary in the offseason.

Hudler's Czech countryman, Roman Cervenka, is also expected to make his NHL debut on Saturday. The 27-year-old undrafted free agent is slated to skate on a line with Hudler and centerman Matt Stajan.

The Flames won four of six encounters against Edmonton in 2011-12, but the Oilers claimed the last two meetings. Calgary has still won 16 of the last 19 contests against the Oilers overall and four of the previous five at the Saddledome.

The Sports Network

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