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
"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
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.
[to top of second column]
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
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
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.
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