EDMONTON -- To the Edmonton Oilers, the tide-turner was Steve MacIntyre's crushing check.
The Calgary Flames believe it snapped them back into form.
Maybe so, but MacIntyre's crunching hit on Dustin Boyd was soon followed by a trio of Oilers goals to erase an outstanding Flames first period and turn it into a 3-2 Edmonton victory last night.
The Flames were full marks for their two-goal edge at the first intermission.
They drew the penalties.
They scored a pair of powerplay goals -- courtesy of Todd Bertuzzi and Daymond Langkow.
They had all the momentum.
Then they fell apart.
After being outshot 17-3 to go down by a pair through 20 minutes, the Oilers came out of the blocks in the second period like they were shot out of a cannon.
The sellout Rexall Place crowd of 16,839 could feel the momentum swaying in the home team's favour and raised the roof when MacIntyre splattered Boyd into the end boards.
The Flames' response came from Brandon Prust, who is 6-in. and 65-lb. smaller than the 6-foot-6, 265-lb. MacIntyre, yet held his ground as well as can be expected in a scrap.
The Flames even killed off the instigator penalty handed to Prust.
For a fleeting moment, they believed the tide had been turned back in their favour.
"I think it gave us momentum," said Flames forward Michael Cammalleri. "Prusty goes in there and he gives up a couple of feet and couple hundred pounds and does a great job. If anything, that solidifies how tough this team is. If anything, that gave our team a little juice."
At least that is until Ethan Moreau, Fernando Pisani and Andrew Cogliano all scored within a four-minute span to put the Oilers ahead and earn the sweep in the back-to-back Battle of Alberta set.
"An amazing first period, and in the second, we didn't sustain it," said captain Jarome Iginla. "They had a great second period and came out of it with a lead. In the third period, we had tons of chances, but we couldn't get the tying marker."
Boy, did they have that momentum at the start, though.
How intense were the charges? Calgary's Craig Conroy and Oilers centre Robert Nilsson were actually kicked off the draw for the opening faceoff because they wouldn't stop jostling each other.
With their goals, the Flames were riding high but knew the Oilers wouldn't keel over.
"We were telling ourselves, 'You know they were at home and embarrassed in the first period and will come out and react as any team will with a big push,' " Iginla said. "That's what we were telling ourselves, but unfortunately, we weren't able to do it on the ice. You've got to give them credit. They did to us what we did to them in the first."
The Oilers are a perfect 4-0 this season and proving in the early going those who said they were a team on the rise to be correct.
The Flames are 1-3-1 -- all during divisional play -- and in need of a some answers.
"The Oilers played well, but tonight they were there to be had," Iginla said. "We came out and did everything early and didn't sustain it. It definitely stinks."
The Flames pushed for the equalizer, but Mathieu Garon stood tall and finished the night with 31 saves.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 24 for Calgary.
Up next, the Flames host the Washington Capitals Tuesday at the Saddledome.