Edmonton Oilers

Flames lose Battle of Alberta on unlucky bounce

The Edmonton Oilers made history despite the Calgary Flames’ best efforts.

The fierce rivals of Calgary won 3-1 on Saturday at the Saddledome, extending their winning run to 13 games. That surpasses the record 12-game streak set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1967–1968 and ties the greatest run of any Canadian-based team.

Dan Vladar tried his hardest to stop the Oilers’ winning streak, but an unfortunate bounce early in the third period marred an otherwise fantastic night for the Flames’ backup goalie.

Sam Gagner of Edmonton was trying to thread a pass through to the slot from below the goal line when the puck reversed course and bounced off Rasmus Andersson’s shin pads, then deflected off Vladar’s glove and landed behind him for an erroneous go-ahead marker.

In the end, that was the difference on a fun night at a boisterous rink.

“It was just a bad bounce,” sighed Vladar. “I find it to be frustrating.” I’ve been having terrible bounces lately in every single game.

And it’s the decisive objective now. I find it really annoying.

Undoubtedly frustrating, but clearly not his fault. Vladar’s 30-save performance earned him a commendation as the first star.

About Gagner’s game-winning kick, Flames coach Ryan Huska remarked, “That’s a tough one.” “Vladdy made some excellent saves tonight, but when a team is playing well, you can expect bounces like that. Sadly, that one didn’t go our way. That certainly does add a little something to the pain of the loss.

Yet you cannot find any fault with him. He was really good, in my opinion, tonight.

On Saturday, MacKenzie Weegar lit the only lamp for the home team as the Oilers proceeded to maintain their recent domination in the Battle of Alberta. The Flames have lost eight of the last nine games played by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company, dating back to a 2022 second-round playoff series.

This Hockey Day in Canada cappper may have taken a bad turn early if Vladar hadn’t made many outstanding saves.

After thwarting three consecutive all-alone chances to stop Derek Ryan, McDavid, and Warren Foegele, the 26-year-old guy in the mask was confronted with another one when Ryan McLeod ducked behind Calgary’s third defensive pairing and sold a fake before pouting glove-side.

Two minutes into the middle period, the locals tied the score by taking advantage of a three-on-one rush. The dishing was done by Blake Coleman, who displayed excellent patience while saucing a ball to Weegar, who managed to get a high shot past Stuart Skinner.

Zach Hyman clinched the victory with a late empty-netter after Gagner broke the tie at 1:39 of the third.

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