EDMONTON — The Calgary Flames are continuing to do their part in order to maintain a precarious playoff position.
Dennis Wideman had a goal and two assists and Jonas Hiller made 27 saves for the shutout as Calgary earned some crucial points with a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Markus Granlund had a pair of goals and Joe Colborne also scored for the Flames (43-29-7), who have won three of their last four. Calgary is also holding on to one of the final playoff positions in the Western Conference with just three games to play.
“With the way that everyone else is playing around us and how tight it is, this was pretty much a must-win for us,” Wideman said. “We definitely couldn’t afford to drop this one. We saw Winnipeg had won earlier and Los Angeles won, so we knew we had to win this game.”
The Flames didn’t come out with the kind of jump that one would expect for such an important contest, but came around as the game went on.
“We could have been a bit better in the first,” said Calgary defenceman Kris Russell.
“Hiller had to come in and make some big stops for us.”
Karri Ramo started in net for Calgary, but appeared to pull a muscle in his left leg just 58 seconds into the game and had to be helped off the ice. Jonas Hiller came off the bench in relief.
“It’s tough to see someone go down,” Hiller said. “The good thing is that it was early so I was still warm from the warm-up. You go from being a spectator to suddenly being the goalie out there. But it worked out well.”
The Oilers (23-43-13) have lost three in a row and were swept in their five-game season series against the Flames.
“We wanted this one bad, we talked about it before the game,” said Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz. “This was a huge game for them and it would have been nice to steal a couple of points and kick them a little bit, but that’s the way it goes.”
The Flames started the scoring two minutes in, as Colborne was able to direct in a bouncing puck that got behind Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens.
Calgary had the bulk of the second period chances, with Josh Jooris being stopped on a breakaway after a Taylor Hall giveaway. Scrivens also made an acrobatic save to stop Sean Monahan during a scramble.
The Flames finally capitalized with two minutes left in the second as Granlund had trouble handling a Jooris pass, but it worked in his favour as Scrivens went down, allowing him to lift it into the net and make it 2-0.
Calgary gave itself some breathing room on a power play early in the third as Wideman blasted a shot from the top of the circle off the post and in.
Granlund added his second of the game with just over a minute to play.
Both teams are off until Tuesday when the Flames return home to face Arizona and the Oilers play the second game of their final three-game homestand against the Los Angeles Kings.