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Oilers rally to end dismal season on winning note

Apr 8, 2007 - 6:42 AM
CALGARY, Alberta (Ticker) -- Once they discovered they clinched a playoff spot, the Calgary Flames took the rest of the night off against the Edmonton Oilers.

Rookie Patrick Thoresen completed a comeback midway through the third period as the Oilers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 triumph over the uninspired Flames.

Still searching for a postseason berth when they took the ice, the Flames (43-28-10) scored twice in the first 8:07 of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. However, once word came that Colorado (43-31-7) squandered a third-period lead at home to Nashville, securing the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference for Calgary, it appeared to lose its focus.

However, Flames coach Jim Playfair and captain Jarome Iginla both disagreed.

"When you look at how you break the goals down, it's a missed assignment in the defensive zone, a turnover on a penalty kill and off the rush," Playfair said. "So three areas of the game that you don't ever want to be not prepared for. I don't want to stand here and think that there was a letdown because the score (of Colorado's game) was announced."

"I looked up (at the scoreboard) to see it was over and it was pretty surprising," Iginla said. "But from our point of view as professionals, it's not acceptable and we don't feel good about not being as good as when we were winning the game."

Flames center Craig Conroy pointed to defenseman David Hale's hooking penalty that led to Ales Hemsky's power-play goal in the second period as the game's turning point.

"That was when it changed and everyone saw that," Conroy said. "We wanted to win the game, and for whatever reason, we gave them a power play and they got momentum. They got a big goal, and all of a sudden, they were right back in it. We didn't want to give them any life, but we did and they took advantage."

Hemsky began Edmonton's comeback with just over five minutes to go in the second and defenseman Ladislav Smid forged a 2-2 tie with 10 seconds remaining in the session. Hemsky's goal halted a scoreless drought of 206 minutes, 44 seconds for the Oilers, who had lost 18 of their previous 19 contests.

"We hadn't scored a goal in the last little while," said Edmonton's Fernando Pisani, who finished with an assist. "It was good to get on the scoreboard. ... You just want to get that monkey off your back and get that one goal. As soon as we got that one goal, we started to relax and didn't squeeze our sticks so tight."

"It's a little oasis in the sea of land," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "The guys played really well and I thought it was important to the team and for the game, because of the importance of the game, especially early, that we came out and put a good game forward."

With 8:44 left in the third, Thoresen led a rush down the left wing and made a cross-slot pass to Dan Syvret. The rookie blue-liner returned the puck to Thoresen, who redirected it past goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff at the left goalpost for his fourth goal of the season and a 3-2 lead.

"It's nice to get a win in our last game, especially the way we've been struggling," said Oilers netminder Dwayne Roloson, who made 28 saves. "We played an enthusiastic game, and that's why we won. It showed a lot of character with our team that we weren't going to quit."

"It's nice to end the year on a positive note and look forward to next year," Edmonton captain Jason Smith added. "We struggled at a lot of different times and just didn't have the success we need. We have to be better next year."

Tony Amonte had a goal and an assist and Stephane Yelle set up both tallies for the Flames, who will face the Detroit Red Wings in the conference quarterfinals.

Following a scoreless first period, Nilson gave Calgary a 1-0 lead 36 seconds into the middle session with his fourth goal of the season. Amonte, who set up Nilson's tally, added one of his own at 8:07 for a two-goal bulge.

After a turnover in the right corner, Yelle passed the puck to Amonte, who fired a shot from the slot just inside the left goalpost for his 10th of the campaign.








  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    EDMONTON 3
    CALGARY 2

    Apr 8 12:39 AM


  • ------------------------------------
    Edmonton
    0 2 1 --3
    Calgary 0 2 0 --2
    ------------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ---------------------------------------
    Edmonton 10 8 11 --29
    Calgary 12 10 8 --30
    ---------------------------------------

    Goalies : Edmonton, Dwayne Roloson (30 shots, 28 saves). Calgary,
    Miikka Kipruso

    Apr 8 12:37 AM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 3
    CALGARY 2
    3RD PRD: EDM - PATRICK THORESEN 4 (DANNY SYVRET, TOBY PETERSEN) 11:16

    Oilers vs. FlamesApr 8 12:18 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 2 2
    CALGARY 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 10 (MARCUS NILSON) 0:36
    CGY - TONY AMONTE 10 (STEPHANE YELLE) 8:07
    EDM - (PP) ALES HEMSKY 13 (MATT GREENE, PETR SYKORA) 14:56
    EDM - LADISLAV SMID 3 (TOM GILBERT, FERNAND

    Apr 7 11:44 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 2
    CALGARY 2
    2ND PRD: EDM - LADISLAV SMID 3 (TOM GILBERT, FERNANDO PISANI) 19:50

    Oilers vs. FlamesApr 7 11:44 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 1
    CALGARY 2
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) ALES HEMSKY 13 (MATT GREENE, PETR SYKORA) 14:56

    Oilers vs. FlamesApr 7 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 0
    CALGARY 2
    2ND PRD: CGY - TONY AMONTE 10 (STEPHANE YELLE) 8:07

    Oilers vs. FlamesApr 7 11:18 PM


  • NHL
    EDMONTON 0
    CALGARY 1
    2ND PRD: CGY - MARCUS NILSON 4 (TONY AMONTE, STEPHANE YELLE) 0:36

    Oilers vs. FlamesApr 7 11:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDMONTON 0 0
    CALGARY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    EDM 10 10
    CGY 12 12
    GOALIES: EDM - DWAYNE ROLOSON
    CGY - MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

    Apr 7 10:46 PM