December 28, 2019 / 5:07 AM / a month ago

Quick goal fuels Flames' blowout of Oilers

EditorsNote: 5th graf, reworded to clarify assists; 12th graf, reworded for clarity

Dec 27, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) skates during warmup against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Mangiapane scored 11 seconds into the game and produced the first two-assist contest of his career, leading the Calgary Flames to a 5-1 win over the host Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

The game was the first of five meetings between the Alberta rivals this season.

Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary, and Lindholm also registered an assist. TJ Brodie notched two assists, and Flames goalie David Rittich stopped 28 shots.

Connor McDavid had the lone goal for the Oilers.

The Flames kicked off the scoring shortly after the opening faceoff. The key to the play was when Tkachuk knocked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins off the puck deep in the Oilers’ end. Lindholm scooped up the loose puck and dished it over to Mangiapane, who one-timed it past Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen.

Tkachuk put the Flames up by two midway through the first period. Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse coughed up the puck at the Flames’ blue line, and Mangiapane took off down the ice. Under pressure from Nurse, Mangiapane made a neat pass back to a streaking Tkachuk, who deftly lifted the puck past Koskinen.

Nurse got some payback late in the first. McDavid won the faceoff in the Flames’ end and pushed it back to Nurse at the point. McDavid got his stick on Nurse’s point shot and redirected it through Rittich’s legs.

The Flames pulled away in the second period with a goal each from Monahan and Lindholm. Lindholm’s goal at the 16:54 mark made it 4-1 and chased Koskinen from the Oilers’ net in favor of Mike Smith, who played two years in Calgary before moving to Edmonton in the 2019 offseason.

Koskinen allowed four goals on 24 shots. Smith saved six of the seven shots he faced.

Backlund got the Flames’ fifth goal just 57 seconds into the third period — a short-handed breakaway goal against the league’s best power play on one of two Edmonton man advantages of the night.

The Flames improved to 8-3-1 under interim head coach Geoff Ward. The Oilers lost for the fourth time in five games.

These two teams see each other again on Jan. 11 in Calgary but first, the surging Flames host the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Oilers are off until Tuesday, when they play host to the New York Rangers.

—Field Level Media

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