EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Scoring early in every period carried the Calgary Flames to victory.
Andrew Mangiapane had a goal and two assists and the Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 on Friday night, scoring at 11 seconds, 68 seconds and 57 seconds of the periods.
”It sure helps. Any time you can score as quickly in periods as we did, it’s helpful. You get to play out in front as opposed to behind and I thought that was a big thing for us tonight,” Flames interim head coach Geoff Ward said. ”I thought it was our most complete hockey game in a long time. I thought the guys did a good job playing the right way.”
Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames (20-15-5), who had lost four of five.
”We came to each period and we scored right away so it was huge for us,” said Calgary goalie David Rittich, who made 28 saves. ”The guys did a really good job and they didn’t get too much on me. It wasn’t that hard of a game, but I’m taking those two points and going home.”
Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers (20-17-4), who have lost eight of 10.
”We’ve kinda thrown our good start away, but we’ve given ourselves a chance in the second half here to chase down a playoff spot,” McDavid said, adding that the team is clearly in a bit of a funk at the moment.
It was a disastrous start for Edmonton as Calgary scored on its first shot of the game. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was muscled off the puck behind the net and Lindholm sent it in front to Mangiapane, who was all alone to score his eighth of the season past Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen. The goal came 11 seconds into the first period.
Calgary added to its lead 12 minutes into the opening period as Mangiapane won a battle with defender Darnell Nurse and sent it across to Tkachuk for this 15th.
Nurse got some redemption soon afterward as his shot was tipped past Flames goalie David Rittich by McDavid for his 22nd of the year.
The Flames made it 3-1 just 68 seconds into the middle period as a soft wrist shot from Monahan trickled through Koskinen’s legs.
Calgary didn’t let up, with Lindholm sending a shot through a screen past Koskinen for his 16th of the season. Four goals on 24 shots prompted a change in net for the Oilers, who sent in Mike Smith.
The Flames got another goal early in the third as Backlund beat Smith on a short-handed breakaway just 57 seconds in.
NOTES: It was the first of five meetings between the provincial rivals, with games on Jan. 11, Jan. 29, Feb. 1 and Apr. 4 still to come. The teams split their series last year. … A ceremonial faceoff before the game featured 19-year-old rising soccer star and Edmonton native Alphonso Davies, a midfielder for FC Bayern Munich and member of the Canadian national men’s soccer team.
Flames: Host Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Oilers: Host New York Rangers on Tuesday.
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