for this game

Nilson, Yelle lead Flames past Oilers

Oct 8, 2006 - 4:57 AM CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- The Calgary Flames frustrated their provincial rival by saving their best for last.

Marcus Nilson snapped a tie in the final minute of the second period and Stephane Yelle added a goal and an assist as the Flames posted a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Avenging Thursday's 3-1 loss in Edmonton, Calgary netted both its tallies in the final minute of the first two periods to win its home opener. The Flames went 30-7-4 at the Pengrowth Saddledome last season.

After collecting six goals and 11 assists in 70 games with the Flames in 2005-06, the 28-year-old Nilson snapped a 1-1 tie with 48 seconds remaining in the second session by beating goaltender Dwayne Roloson with a shot to the glove side.

"It's a good start," Nilson said. "I got a lucky bounce tonight."

"Through the course of the night, I though Marcus Nilson did a really good job," Calgary coach Jim Playfair said. "Coming off the bench, he hadn't played in the second period because of all the penalties and so on. He came out and had a really strong shift with Stephane Yelle."

Acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for former Hart and Norris Trophy winner Chris Pronger on July 3, Joffrey Lupul scored his first goal with the Oilers at 8:59 of the first period, knocking the rebound of Ryan Smyth's shot past reigning Vezina Trophy recipient Miikka Kiprusoff during a power play.

"It's always nice to score a goal," Lupul said. "It's good to get the first one out of the way. It would have been a lot nicer to get the second one."

Yelle tied the contest with only eight seconds remaining in the opening session, sliding the puck between Roloson's pads for his first goal of the campaign.

"We weren't satisfied with our game on Thursday," Yelle said. "It's good to get our first one under our belt. I think we played better. We executed better. It was more physical and grinding. We need to be consistent to be successful."

"Ever since Stephane Yelle came here, he came as advertised," Playfair said. "He's a competitor. He's a strong player. He's a 2-1 game-winning kind of guy."

Kiprusoff made 21 saves to help give Playfair, who succeeded Darryl Sutter on July 12, his first coaching victory.

After the Oilers pulled Roloson to add an extra skater in the final minute, they fired at will on Kiprusoff but came up short. The Finn made a pad save on Lupul while lying on his back with 35 seconds remaining.

"At the end, I had a good chance and (Kiprusoff) made the save on me," Lupul said. "Their goalie played well when he had to."

Moments later, Kiprusoff caught a break when Ales Hemsky batted the puck over the crossbar prior to the final horn.

Calgary had a 28-22 edge in shots on goal after being outshot, 33-22, against Edmonton on Thursday. However, the Flames have failed to score in 16 power-play chances this season.

Roloson stopped 26 shots for Edmonton, which fell to 5-10-1 in its last 16 regular-season encounters with Calgary.

Always a passionate rivalry, the "Battle of Alberta" has become re-energized this season after the Oilers followed the Flames as Western Conference champions last spring.

"Both teams are great teams and are battling for the top of their division," Roloson said. "When you have common ground and a balanced atmosphere, it creates a good rivalry. Both teams take pride in it and respect the battle."

"Both of our teams are a little older and probably stronger," Calgary captain Jarome Iginla said. "Every game, even when one team is in the playoffs, you always found a reason that it was a big game. This early in the season, back-to-back, it's pretty cool."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!