Edmonton Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Sunday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Edmonton Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Sunday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence under new head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Mikko Koskinen made 24 saves to record his third shutout of the season as the Oilers won a tight battle between a pair of hot teams, defeating the Calgary Flames 1-0 on Sunday.

“It takes a lot of effort to play good defence, especially against a team like that that has so many skilled, offensive players,” said Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson.

“I think we’re playing a little tighter, and it’s easier to close the games. Even when we were up two goals in the beginning of the season, we would tend to give up chances still, even when we tried to close games out. I don’t feel like we’re doing that now.”

Connor McDavid scored the game’s lone goal for the Oilers (16-12-2), who have won three straight and have gone 6-1-0 in their last seven games.

“I like how we stayed with it when we got an early lead. We didn’t try to flex out. We got quality chances in the first period from playing the right way,” said Hitchcock, who owns a 7-2-1 record since taking over the coaching reins from Todd McLellan.

“I like the way we protected the lead in the third period, especially. That to me is where we’re learning how to play as a unit of five, not spread out. That’s a good sign.”

The Flames (19-10-2) had a five-game winning streak snapped, but are 9-2-1 in their last 12 outings.

“I’m not happy with the result, but I am happy with our weekend,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters, whose team defeated Nashville 5-2 on Saturday. “It just looked like we were running on fumes a little bit tonight.”

David Rittich made 29 saves in a losing effort for Calgary.

“It’s always the worse kind of loss, a 1-0 game,” said Rittich. “We didn’t play our game. We just need to be better than that.”

Edmonton got the game going 12 minutes into the opening period with some nice passing by the top line, which was finished off when Alex Chiasson fed it to McDavid at the side of the net and the Oilers captain sent his 16th of the season past Rittich.

The Oilers came out of the gate flying in the second, but Rittich made huge breakaway saves on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl.

Calgary looked to have tied it up midway through the middle period, but Anthony Peluso — who was recalled earlier in the day from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat — was flagged with goaltender interference on Koskinen after the video review.

McDavid came close to adding another one on the power play with four minutes left in the third, but rang his shot off the crossbar.

Calgary poured on the pressure at the end, but Edmonton was able to hang on.

The Oilers begin a two-game trip in Colorado on Tuesday. The Flames make a one-game trip back home to play Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Notes: It was the second of four meetings between the Alberta rivals with Calgary scoring three third-period goals in a come-from-behind 4-2 victory on Nov. 17… The Flames were without a couple of key players as forward Mikael Backlund is out with a concussion, while defenceman Mark Giordano was serving part of a two-game suspension for kneeing Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels allowed four straight goals from the Medicine Hat Tigers Friday night on the road. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers hand Red Deer Rebels 10th straight loss

Tigers 4 Rebels 2 Through 17 games in the shortened WHL season,… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

GrammaLink-Africa members are participating in the Stride to Turn the Tide campaign until June 30. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer group walking to raise money for African grandmothers

A group of central Albertans will be walking every day until the… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Montreal Canadiens' Tyler Toffoli celebrates his goal past Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Toffoli scores twice, Canadiens put some distance on Flames with 2-1 win

Toffoli scores twice, Canadiens put some distance on Flames with 2-1 win

Canadian prop Jake Ilnicki savouring life in Seattle, looks forward to facing Arrows

Canadian prop Jake Ilnicki savouring life in Seattle, looks forward to facing Arrows

Corey Conners, of Canada, hits out of a bunker on the seventh hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Conners notched six birdies on his back nine to take the lead after his second round of the RBC Heritage on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum
Canadian Corey Conners surges into lead at PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage

Canadian Corey Conners surges into lead at PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage

Patrick Marleau poised to break Gordie Howe’s games record

Patrick Marleau poised to break Gordie Howe’s games record

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada serves to Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in round 1 of the Rogers Cup women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Monday August 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Rebecca Marino propels Canada into 2-0 lead over Serbia at Billie Jean King Cup

Rebecca Marino propels Canada into 2-0 lead over Serbia at Billie Jean King Cup

Dalton Kellett pulls out of the pits during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. Dalton Kellett is pleased his second career season in IndyCar will be different than his first, which started on an elaborate iRacing rig in his home office in Indianapolis because of COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Darron Cummings
Canada’s Dalton Kellett set for a more stable season as an IndyCar driver

Canada’s Dalton Kellett set for a more stable season as an IndyCar driver

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Canadian women get peek at their possible road at Olympic soccer tournament

Canadian women get peek at their possible road at Olympic soccer tournament

Head coach John Tait talks to his team as Canada takes on Japan in women's sevens rugby action at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Rugby Canada says probe into complaint from members of women’s 7s team is complete

Rugby Canada says probe into complaint from members of women’s 7s team is complete

Most Read