Oilers set longest win streak by a Canadian team in win over Flames
CALGARY — Sam Gagner's fluke goal was the game winner and Stuart Skinner made 26 saves as the Edmonton Oilers won their 13th game in a row with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night over the Calgary Flames.
The Oilers' milestone is the longest win streak by a Canadian team in NHL history, passing the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens, who won 12 in a row.
Ryan McLeod and Zach Hyman, into an empty net, also scored for Edmonton (26-15-1). Held off the scoresheet for the first time during the streak, Connor McDavid's 12-game scoring streak (5-13-18) came to an end.
The Oilers nine consecutive road wins shatters the old franchise record of eight set in 1986-87. And Kris Knoblauch improves to 23-6-0 since taking over as head coach.
Skinner has won 10 games in a row, he's 17-2-0 in his last 19 starts, and improves to 21-9-1 on the season.
Dan Vladar was excellent in net for the Flames, making 31 stops. His record falls to 7-7-2.
Deadlocked at 1-1 after 40 minutes, Edmonton took its second lead on Gagner's goal 1:39 into the third.
From below the goal line near the corner, Gagner's attempt to centre the puck to Dylan Holloway in the slot deflected off the skate of Flames defenceman Rasmus Andersson and went on net instead where it caught the top of the trapper of an unsuspecting Vladar and fluttered into the net.
In the first game between the provincial rivals since the Heritage Classic in Edmonton, both teams wore their same retro look from that outdoor game.
The first Battle of Alberta in Calgary in over a year also featured a showdown between the Flames, who had scored three or more goals in their last six games and the Oilers, who had allowed two goals or fewer in their last 10 games.
Edmonton was the better team in the first period with Vladar forced to make several high calibre stops, especially in the early going when the Oilers had a bunch of dangerous chances.
Five minutes in, Vladar stopped Warren Foegele on his initial shot and again on the rebound after he was set up alone in front by Evander Kane. A minute later, McDavid bowled his way past Noah Hanifin to get in alone only to be denied.
A few minutes later came another highlight-reel save when Dylan Holloway set up Connor Brown for what looked like a sure goal, but Vladar stretched across the crease and extended his glove to deny Brown his first goal of the year.
Brown entered the game with 60 shots, the most among players without a goal.
Edmonton finally broke through at 15:03 of the first when McLeod got in alone and neatly tucked a shot inside the near goalpost as he cut across the top of the crease.
Down 1-0 after 20 minutes, the Flames tied it 1-1 at 1:58 of the second period when a quick transition up ice produced a 3-on-1 rush against defenceman Cody Ceci. Blake Coleman, the puck carrier, waited patiently before putting a saucer pass on the tape of Weegar who deftly steered it inside the goalpost.
That's 10 goals for the defenceman, who had never scored more than eight in a season.
CORONATO CALLED UP
With Thursday's injury to Martin Pospisil (upper body), Calgary called up 21-year-old Matt Coronato from the AHL Calgary Wranglers. The 2021 first-rounder opened the season on the Flames before being sent down after 10 games. He had 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 27 games with the Wranglers. Coronato took Pospisil's spot at right wing on a line with Nazem Kadri and fellow rookie Connor Zary.
Edmonton welcomed back Dylan Holloway, who had been out since Nov. 13 due to a knee injury. He had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in four games in Bakersfield (AHL) before being recalled. James Hamblin was sent down to make room. Holloway centred a line with Sam Gagner and Connor Brown.
Making his NHL debut was 6-foot-8 RW Adam Klapka, who is the tallest player in Flames franchise history, a distinction that had belonged to 6-foot-7 D Chris Breen, who played nine games for Calgary in 2013-14. The 23-year-old Czech took the fourth-line spot of Dillon Dube (illness).
Oilers: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Flames: Six-game homestand continues on Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2024.