Flames hot streak alive

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Perfection remains.

And the Calgary Flames have equalled their hottest start in franchise history.

Thanks to a final-second equalizer from Rene Bourque, shootout goals by Nigel Dawes and Olli Jokinen, and more oustanding goaltending from Miikka Kiprusoff in last night's 4-3 shootout victory, the Flames have four wins in as many outings.

The only other time in franchise history the Flames opened with four wins was the 1993-94 campaign.

"Really?" Bourque said. "That's a good sign."

They certainly provided enough drama for their faithful in this affair.

Flames battled back after spotting the Oilers a two-goal lead with a couple of late first-period goals.

All three players on the second line scored.

Daymond Langkow scored his first goal of the season with just 13.8 seconds remaining in the second period. Nigel Dawes cracked his goose egg early in the third period.

It appeared to be all for naught when Edmonton's Ales Hemsky scored late in the third period, but Bourque deflected Jay Bouwmeester's high point shot with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation.

"Our team showed a lot of character," said Bourque, who had a three-point game.

"The last couple of minutes of the first ,we had a breakdown, but we battled hard and had a lot of chances."

Kiprusoff then stole the show with seven overtime saves.

He denied both Hemsky and Sam Gagner in the showdown.

"Kipper's been the backbone of our team since day one," Bourque said.

"He's been great all four games."

Jokinen's shootout goal also went to review, but it just trickled over the line.

While the review was on, Jokinen headed straight to his teammates to tap gloves.

"It hit the post, hit his leg and went over the line. I saw it," Jokinen said.

"I just wanted to make sure they pointed at it."

Ethan Moreau and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for Edmonton, which falls to 1-1-1. Both defeats have come against Calgary, and both on home ice.

As you'd expect in the Battle of Alberta, nastiness was front and centre.

Tensions were high when already but early in the second period, Flames captain Jarome Iginla chased Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray for a puck deep in the zone. Iginla's stick in Souray's feet caused the defenceman to stumble and fall head-first into the boards.

Souray left the game with a mild concussion, while Iginla -- who fought Moreau after serving a minor for tripping -- was booed by the crowd the rest of the night.

Calgary returns home to play the Dallas Stars tonight (7 p.m., Sportsnet, FAN960).

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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