The Edmonton Oilers showed once again on Saturday night that even when they get down, they're never out of it.
Zach Hyman scored twice, including the game winner, and Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists as Edmonton scored twice in the third to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
“We’re one of the teams out there that can come from behind. We have enough skill and our ability to score goals, we’re confident in that,” said Hyman.
“We’re not deterred by a deficit. We don’t like to be down but when we’re down, we have a lot of belief in the locker room that we can get back to even and win the game.”
Edmonton had only mustered one goal on Flames' netminder Jacob Markstrom approaching the halfway point of the third period.
Oilers defenceman Cody Ceci rimmed the puck in from centre. Markstrom left his net in an attempt to stop it, but it went around the glass and past him. He couldn't get back into the net in time to get set for McDavid's quick shot, which went under his arm, tying the game.
“I saw him chase the rim. Got by him. I think maybe he even took the long way around,” McDavid said. “I don’t think I even had a shot on net yet so I figured it was a good chance to get one on and luckily it went in.”
Three minutes later, Edmonton pressure led to a turnover in front and McDavid's pass attempt deflected off Hyman's skate and into the net.
“When it's 2-2, you've got to make a better play in your own zone, especially when you know McDavid is on the ice,” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter.
Chris Tanev was one of the players on the ice for that costly sequence.
“I went D-to-D to (MacKenzie Weegar) and he tried to make a play up the middle and it deflected right back into the slot,” Tanev said. “We're winning with 10 minutes left in the game and we lose in regulation so I take responsibility for that.”
The win caps off a perfect three-game road trip for Edmonton (6-3-0).
Mikael Backlund and Brett Ritchie replied for Calgary (5-2-0).
“Obviously not the start we wanted necessarily at home, but to come on the road and win three against some really good teams was really important for us, a good confidence-booster going back home for another three,” said Hyman.
Stuart Skinner made 40 saves to earn the win and improve to 2-1-0.
“I thought Stuart Skinner was exactly what I expected him to be: confident,” said Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft. “I felt good about his ability to come in and help us win the game tonight.”
Markstrom, who had 22 saves, suffered his first loss of the season. He is 4-1-0.
Looking to bounce back from a dismal playoff performance against the Oilers last spring in which he gave up 24 goals in five games for an .852 save percentage, Markstrom was excellent for 2 1/2 periods before things unravelled.
“We didn't play bad. A couple bad bounces at the end and, obviously, the best player took advantage,” said Flames left winger Jonathan Huberdeau.
Calgary had snapped a 1-1 tie at 16:06 of the second on Ritchie's third of the season as the Flames' fourth line connected.
Scoreless after the first period, Calgary grabbed the lead short-handed at 4:14 of the second with Backlund getting loose down the wing and firing a shot past Skinner.
Less than 30 seconds later, Backlund got in alone again, but this time his pass went into Elias Lindholm's skates.
With the two penalty killers caught deep, Edmonton quickly transitioned up ice with Leon Draisaitl dropping the puck to McDavid who zipped a cross-ice pass to Hyman, who supplied the finish.
POWER PLAY SHOWDOWN
The game featured two of the league's top two power plays with Edmonton entering the night ranked second and the Flames sitting fourth. The Oilers went 1-for-4 making it nine games in a row with a goal on the man advantage.
Calgary, which is getting it done with a completely overhauled top unit with Nazem Kadri, Huberdeau and Tyler Toffoli replacing Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, went 0-for-3.
BATTLE OF ALBERTA NEARLY OVER
After finally meeting last year in the playoffs for the first time over 30 years, the two rivals only face each other three times this season and two of those games are now done.
Calgary won 4-3 two weeks ago in Edmonton. The season series wraps up Dec. 27 when the Oilers return to the Saddledome.
Oilers: Open a three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
Flames: Eight straight games at home continues Tuesday when the Seattle Kraken pay a visit.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2022.