Calgary Flames shut down McDavid, Draisaitl in 3-1 win over Edmonton Oilers
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Calgary held the NHL’s top producers off the scoresheet and Flames forward Tyler Toffoli scored twice in a 3-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Johnny Gaudreau contributed an insurance goal and his 50th assist of the season for the Flames (34-14-7), which continued atop the Pacific Division with a 14th win in their last 16 games.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots in front of a season-high 17,246 at the Saddledome. The arena holds 19,289.
Devin Shore replied for Edmonton (30-23-4), which remained two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.
The NHL’s co-leaders in points — Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid — didn’t register one Monday.
“You can’t expect Brad Malone to come in here and score three goals tonight, right?” Draisaitl said. “That’s our job. That’s on Connor, that’s on me, that’s on the top guys that are getting paid to create. Probably didn’t do enough of that tonight.”
Mikko Koskinen turned away 26 of 29 in the season’s first instalment of the Battle of Alberta at the Saddledome.
A Dec. 23 game in Calgary was rescheduled because a COVID-19 outbreak among the Flames.
The Oilers beat the visiting Flames 5-2 on Oct. 16 and 5-2 on Jan. 22. Their regular-season series concludes March 26 in Calgary.
Toffoli got his first taste of the NHL’s Battle of Alberta. The Flames acquired the forward from Toronto in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 14.
Toffoli scored his sixth and seventh goals for Calgary since becoming a Flame.
“I was definitely excited not only because of that, but the way the standings are,” he said. “It was just a just a really important game for us.
“I thought we did a good job of containing their top guys. Marky made some big saves at the right time. I thought we just did a really good job overall and not really letting them get to their game as much as they probably wanted to.”
Edmonton dropped to 7-5-1 since Jay Woodcroft took over as head coach for fired Dave Tippett on Feb. 10.
“We played a solid game I think, but you’re not going to win many games when you score one goal,” Draisaitl said. “I don’t think it’s ever a question of competing or battle level. We’re playing our hearts out.”
Calgary opera singer Stephania Romaniuk sang the Ukrainian anthem before George Canyon’s O Canada on Monday.
It was the second straight home game that the Flames made a gesture of support to a country attempting to repel Russia’s invasion.
After a scoreless first period, Calgary led 2-0 on back-to-back Toffoli goals heading into the third.
Shore halved the deficit at 4:57 of the third, but Gaudreau, scoring on a partial breakaway with just under three minutes remaining, restored Calgary’s two-goal cushion.
The puck deflected off referee Dan O’Rourke’s leg to Oiler Derek Ryan, whose pass then bounced off the leg of Flames’ defenceman Nikita Zadorov out to Shore to score Edmonton’s lone goal of the game.
Toffoli, who was stopped on a short-handed breakaway in the first period, took a backhand feed from Adam Ruzicka and wired a wrist shot far side on Koskinen at 9:54 of the second period.
He shovelled a rebound upstairs for a power-play goal at 6:37. Gaudreau’s assist on Toffoli’s first goal was his sixth in five games.
Markstrom stretched across his crease to rob Malone and also corralled an Evander Kane blast during an Edmonton power-play early in the second period.
Calgary held the fourth-best power-play in the NHL to 0-for-4 in the game and went 1-for-4 with a man advantage.
“We didn’t have to block a lot of shots tonight,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “We put a lot of pressure on them in key areas. Entering the zone, they didn’t get much entry time or zone time, to be quite honest.”
The Flames are at home Tuesday to the Washington Capitals, who face the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2022.