EDMONTON - With all of Edmonton poised to make Calgary GM Jay Feaster eat his words for having the audacity to suggest the Oilers haven't been very good the last few years, the Flames shoved it down Edmonton's throat instead.
They overcame a 2-0 deficit, destroyed Edmonton's power play, feasted on their penalty killing, scored three times in the third period and ran their winning streak against Edmonton to seven straight games with a 5-3 victory.
"We've got to continue to compete, and harder than we have been lately," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney, whose club seemed out-willed in this one. "Because it hasn't been enough."
Nobody would have guessed a game that started like this one would end like this one. The Oilers were up 2-0 by the three-minute mark on goals from Lennart Petrell and Sam Gagner and the rout was on.
The Flames had to blow their time out and it was loudest Rexall Place had been this early in a hockey game in a long, long time.
Three minutes and 47 seconds later it was all tied up.
After Andy Sutton took a momentum killing roughing penalty at 3:32 the Flames scored on a the power play three minutes after that, Rene Bourque slipped in a rebound.
"We showed spurts of the team we know we can be, and other times were just awful, which led to the back and forth," said Ryan Jones, adding these losses are very tough to take. "They suck. You don't want to lose games to these guys.
"We need to ride the momentum better. We've been like that all year. When things gets high teams come right back at us, we doin't ride the wave that well. When we learn to do that we'll bury teams. We won't give them a chance. We can put a team down, we just have to keep them down."
Once again Edmonton took the lead, 3-2 in the third on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 12th of the season at 5:27.
The lead lasted 44 seconds before Derek Smith fired the equalizer past Khabibulin.
Ryan Smyth took a goaltender interference penalty at 8:37 and Mikael Backlund scored on the ensuing power play to give Calgary a 4-3 lead and Ollie Jokinen added the empty netter to salt it away.
Gagner could only shake his head.
"We just have to get back to the basics and battle a little harder," he said. "Especially against a team like that. Hopefully we learned from these mistakes and get better."
While Edmonton went 0-for-6 with the man advantage, the Flames were 2-for-3.
"This is one of those games where we needed to win the special teams battle," said Jones. "If we would have done that we would have won the hockey game.
"Our penalty killing, which has been very good, let us down today. And the power play was the same.
"You're supposed to build momentum through the power play and it seemed like we took it away."
Edmonton began the day seven points ahead of Calgary and two points below the playoff cutline and lost ground on both fronts.
"These four-point games are something that we need to get into the playoffs," said Eberle. "The power play needs to be better. We had a lot of opportunities (six) and didn't capitalize.
"The bottom line is that's frustrating.
"It shows the character over there. We have to have that kind of character."
LATE HITS... Anton Lander (infected hand) is still "a day or two away" said Renney. The Oilers were also without Taylor Hall (shoulder), Corey Potter (ankle) and Cam Barker (ankle). The Flames were down Mark Giordano and David Moss... Jay Bouwmeester, one of the softer players in the game, got away with a wicked second period crosscheck on Shawn Horcoff's ribs, sending the Oilers captain down in a heap.