Flames lick Oilers

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff fights off Oilers forward Ryan Smyth at the Scotiabank...

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff fights off Oilers forward Ryan Smyth at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Dec. 10, 2011. (TODD KOROL/Reuters)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:17 AM ET

CALGARY - It was one while it lasted, but the Edmonton Oilers winning streak is over.

After playing a brilliant game Friday night against Colorado, the Oilers thought they might have been on to something, and rolled into Calgary with visions of making it two in a row Saturday against the Flames.

Nope.

To nobody’s great surprise given Calgary’s complete and total dominance in the Battle of Alberta, the Flames did what they always do when these teams play — show Edmonton just how much farther they have to go.

A long way, judging from a night that saw Edmonton out-worked, out-played and out-shot 27-12 in the first 40 minutes of a 3-0 defeat.

A rivalry that used to be close is now all Flames, all the time.

“We didn’t have enough juice to push like we needed to to beat this team,” said head coach Tom Renney. “These guys (Calgary) are starting to play really well, they feel good about their game and momentum is a wonderful thing.”

Calgary has every ounce of it in this series. The numbers are getting stupid. Like, Minnesota stupid.

Calgary has won 17 of the last 19 games, including 10 straight at home and eight straight overall.

Their last loss was last season’s home opener at Rexall Place and their last loss in Calgary came on Oct. 17, 2008.

The Oilers have been out-scored 44-18 in Calgary in that span.

“It’s frustrating,” said Jordan Eberle. “We were getting pucks in, we were getting a forecheck, but it almost seemed like we were getting out-battled in the corner. They’re right on the edge of taking a penalty, holding you and keeping you away from it. It’s tough to play against that when they’re not calling it. It’s just frustrating.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who looked unbelievable against Colorado, was minus two with two shots on net against the Flames.

“Not taking anything away from them, they definitely know how to play in their own rink,” he said. “They’re a solid team ... but, for us after that first goal we had a let down. We can’t let that happen. We have to stick with it no matter what.”

The Flames aren’t always this good — if they played everyone like they played Edmonton they’d be first overall — but when the two teams meet the Flames are just a better team. And it hurts in the Oilers dressing room.

“Especially since this is a divisional team,” said Tom Gilbert. “I wish I had some answers. (Saturday night) was just a lack of doing things we normally do.”

What the Oilers normally do here is lose.

The fact that all three game against Calgary this year were the second of back-to-back games for Edmonton isn’t lost on Renney.

“I have to be careful, but I think the scheduling is BS, to be honest with you,” he said. “I would like that opportunity, I’d like to play Calgary three times on the back end of a back to back and talk about intensity and jump and all that kind of stuff.

“But I’m not making excuses at all, I thought Calgary was the better team (Saturday night).”

HEMMER ICED: Ales Hemsky played just 15:57 and finished the game on the third line. Things are not going well for the struggling alternate captain. The body language says he’s down.

“Of course I’m down, but I’m trying to stay positive,” he said, adding he understands the situation. “We have a young team, guys are playing good, it is what it is. Whenever they use me I have to take the opportunity and use it, whether it’s 20 minutes or 14 minutes.”

SITTING OUT: Magnus Paajarvi, who played just one shift in the first period of Edmonton’s Friday night win over Colorado, was a healthy scratch in Calgary. It’s the fourth time this season he’s watched from the press box. After 15 goals and 34 points in his rookie season, he has three assists in 24 games this year.

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia. ca

Twitter@Sun_TYCHKOWSKI


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