McDavid, Oilers scorch Flames again

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[October 15, 2016]  CALGARY, Alberta -- Todd McClellan can empathize with other coaches who have to try to slow down Connor McDavid.

The Edmonton Oilers coach has happily watched from behind the bench as his superstar center has recorded six points in two wins over the Calgary Flames to start the NHL season.

"We'll be talking about him all year and for many years to come," said McClellan after McDavid had a goal and two assists to lead the Oilers to a 5-3 win over the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday. "You can have a game plan, but first of all he's got all the skills and tools. He's got a toolbox that is second to none -- his mind and the way he sees the rink and the players on the ice surface.

"He does things fast and slow, so you're never really sure whether you should go or if you shouldn't go. I'm glad he's on our squad and we're happy to have him, obviously."

Two nights earlier in Edmonton, McDavid had two goals and an assist to help the Oilers (2-0-0) open Rogers Place in style with a 7-4 win over their Alberta rivals.

"Again tonight, he capitalizes on his chances," said Calgary captain Mark Giordano. "He got a few breakaways. Power play, he made some nice plays. You just need to know when he's out there. If you don't, he's sneaking in and getting chances all the time so we have to do a better job, for sure."

Center Mark Letestu's shorthanded goal at 6:47 of the third period put the Oilers up 4-2 and center Leon Draisaitl's empty-net goal finished off the scoring for Edmonton, who will return home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

Draisaitl scored twice in the third period and also had an assist for the Oilers, while Jordan Eberle had a goal and a helper.

"It's obviously what you want to do," said Eberle of Edmonton's good start to the season. "You want to win the first two. I like the way we played in the second and third. We've got to continue that momentum and move it into Sunday."

Center Sean Monahan, right winger Michael Frolik and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka scored for the Flames, who don't have much time to regroup as they head right off to Vancouver to play the Canucks in their season and home opener at Rogers Arena on Saturday night.

"We had a lot of emotion in the first period and we played on it but it seemed we had a letdown in the second," said Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan in regards to Friday's setback in front of 19,289 fans at the 'Dome. "We got out of our rhythm and started trying to do things ourselves."

Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot made 32 saves to record his second straight win, while Brian Elliott stopped 24 of 28 shots he faced in the Calgary net.

The Flames opened the scoring at 1:22 of the first period when Monahan backhanded a shot from just outside the crease past Talbot. Defenseman Deryk Engelland helped set up the goal as he rang a shot off the post and the puck bounced right out in front to Monahan.

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Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his goal with teammates against Calgary Flames during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

At the other end of the ice, Elliott kicked out his left pad to stop a breakaway attempt by Letestu.

The Oilers pulled even at 7:45 of the opening period when McDavid took a breakaway pass from Eberle and then made a quick move before backhanding a shot past Elliott.

Talbot had to be sharp a short time later to turn aside a breakaway opportunity by right winger Alex Chiasson. The Oilers goalie then didn't have much of a chance to stop a shot from the boards by Frolik at 11:35 because of a nice screen in front by center Lance Bouma.

After being outshot 24-12 in the first period, the Oilers recorded the first eight shots of the second and were rewarded when Eberle fought off a check from center Matt Stajan to shovel a rebound past Elliott for a power-play goal at 5:25.

The Oilers held the Flames to just three shots in the second, while directing 10 pucks toward Elliott.

NOTES: After being a healthy scratch Wednesday in Edmonton, Flames D Jyrki Jokipakka was in the lineup Friday for Calgary's home opener to play on a pairing with D Dougie Hamilton. ... Flames D Nicklas Grossmann was a healthy scratch on Friday after struggling in his regular season debut. Calgary's other scratches were C Freddie Hamilton and D Brett Kulak. ... Oilers D Brandon Davidson suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday and was placed on injured reserve. Subsequently, Edmonton recalled D Eric Gryba from AHL Bakersfield on Thursday. Gryba was paired with D Darnell Nurse. ... Oilers C Anton Lander made his season debut after being a healthy scratch Wednesday. Lander scored just once in 61 games for the Oilers last season. ... Edmonton scratched LW Anton Slepyshev, D Mark Fayne and D Matthew Benning.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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