Elias Lindholm scored twice and goaltender Jacob Markstrom delivered another sparkling performance to give the visiting Calgary Flames a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and provide more life for their flickering playoff hopes.
Dillon Dube also scored for the Flames.
Markstrom stopped 30 shots — 14 in the third period — in a win that pulls Calgary (22-24-3, 47 points) four points behind the Montreal Canadiens for fourth place in the North Division. Matthew Tkachuk and Rasmus Andersson both collected two assists.
The Flames have seven games remaining while the Canadiens have eight to go.
James Neal scored while goaltender Mike Smith stopped 27 shots for the Oilers (29-17-2, 60 points), who sit second in the West. Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid, who leads the league’s scoring race, was held without a point for the second consecutive clash with Calgary.
The Alberta rivals meet for the 10th and final time Saturday in Edmonton. The Oilers have won five of nine meetings.
The desperate Flames needed a quick start and received it when Lindholm opened the scoring 6:04 into the tilt. After a defensive-zone turnover, Tkachuk sent a pass to the Lindholm in the slot, and he one-timed the shot for the marker.
Neal drew the Oilers even later in the opening frame to complete a rush. Neal was left unchecked after receiving a drop pass from Kris Russell, and he slipped a shot under Markstrom’s arm at the 13:28 mark for his fourth goal of the season.
Lindholm’s second of the night restored the Flames’ lead at 7:07 of the second period. After a won faceoff in the Edmonton zone, Andersson’s point shot ricocheted off Lindholm’s leg and into the net for his 17th of the season.
Dube provided the much-needed insurance goal midway through the third period. Milan Lucic’s shot was stopped during a rush led by Andersson, but Dube was on the spot to collect his ninth goal of the season.
Amidst the scoring was a great goaltending battle. While Markstrom made a couple of clutch stops on Neal in the middle frame and a huge save on Dmitry Kulikov during a wild scramble early in the third period, Smith was nearly as good. Smith’s biggest save was a diving glove stop in the dying seconds of the third period that prevented Lindholm from recording a hat trick.
–Field Level Media