The Calgary Flames left the City of Edmonton with a couple of reasons to thank the Oilers.
Not only did the Oil waste a three-goal, third-period lead, which ended up a 5-4 Flames shootout win to keep Calgary’s playoff hopes alive, but a bunch of Edmonton players served up trash-talk, which helped provide some much-needed motivation throughout Saturday night’s game.
“They were saying how our season was over with us being down. It was a number of players. It was a really, really nice feeling when we were able to turn it around and get it done,” Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr said with a grin.
It seems impossible to believe — a 30th-place team filled with minor-leaguers running at the mouth — but the Oilers were doing it.
Sure, the Flames were within minutes of seeing their playoff hopes close to being completely quashed, but the Oilers may have wanted to resist firing them up.
The Flames stormed back from a 4-1 deficit early in the third period to tie the game late in regulation and then won in the shootout.
“They did it a little bit, but you can’t blame them. If the roles were reversed, I know we’d be wanting to knock them out,” said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who responded with a two-goal, three-point outing.
For his part, Iginla said hearing players from a last-place team saying, ‘Enjoy the good summer’ wasn’t necessary to help him fight until the bitter end for a win.
“There’s enough internal motivation and wanting to be a part of the playoffs and not wanting anybody to end our hopes, especially the Oilers, is enough,” Iginla said. “All that stuff, you just try to block it out. You keep going, and fortunately, we did.”
Still, you have to think there was extra satisfaction in quieting those voices.
“Being that close to the end and sticking with it to find a way to pull out of it, that was a fun game to be a part of,” Iginla said.
The Flames and Oilers face each other again next week at the Saddledome.