Calgary 6 Edmonton 2
EDMONTON — Lee Stempniak had a hat trick and added an assist as the Calgary Flames continued their push to get into a playoff position with a commanding 6-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Blake Comeau and Jay Bouwmeester each had a goal and two assists and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames (23-20-6) who have gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
Andy Sutton and Ryan Smyth scored in response for the Oilers (17-26-4), who are digging themselves a canyon at the moment with only one win in their last nine games and wins in just five of their last 25 outings.
Calgary started the scoring seven minutes into the game.
Just after an Oiler penalty expired, Mark Giordano made a great cross-ice pass to give Backlund an open net to shoot in his fourth of the season before Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin could get across.
Three minutes later it was 2-0 Flames as Comeau blasted a shot from the top of the circle that clipped Khabibulin’s pad before rolling into the net.
The Flames went up by three goals with a minute left to play in the first when Stempniak picked the top corner on a quick wrist shot for his 10th of the season.
The best chances in the second period primarily belonged to the Flames. They were finally rewarded with just 36 seconds remaining when Stempniak scored on another long shot, beating Khabibulin with a low shot to the glove side from the top of the faceoff circle to make it 4-0 after 40 minutes.
The shots at that point were an even 16-16 but Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was not called on to make any major stops.
Devan Dubnyk came in to replace Khabibulin in the Edmonton net to start the third.
The Oilers finally broke Kiprusoff’s shutout bid four minutes into the third as Jordan Ebele found Sutton pinching in from the point. Sutton’s goal broke a stretch of seven periods without a score for Edmonton.
Calgary quickly restored its four-goal advantage on the power play as a Jarome Iginla shot was deflected by Bouwmeester and hit the post but then hit the back of Dubnyk’s skates and went into the net.
Edmonton got that goal back with four minutes left as Smyth tipped in a Jeff Petry point shot for his 16th of the season.
Despite being down by three goals, the Oilers pulled Dubnyk with three minutes left, allowing Stempniak to score his hat trick goal into the empty net.
Edmonton remain at home to play San Jose on Monday. The Sharks will then travel to Calgary to play the Flames on Tuesday.