Oilers shoot for rare win against Flames

10:10 AM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers are looking to put together a run that they hope will end a six-year playoff drought. They'll try to extend their longest winning streak of the season on Monday night in a meeting with the Calgary Flames.

The Oilers have won three in a row for the first time this season ahead of an opener of a home-and-home series with the Flames, who host the finale on Wednesday. Edmonton, which last made the playoffs in 2006 when it reached the Stanley Cup Finals, will try to win four straight for the first time since posting six straight triumphs from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, 2011.

To do that, the Oilers will need to pick up a rare victory over the Flames. Calgary took the first of four meetings this season at home on Jan. 26 by a 4-3 margin, winning in the Battle of Alberta for the 10th time in the last 12 encounters.

Edmonton has also lost 17 of the past 20 encounters overall and seven of the previous nine at home.

The Oilers, though, will face a Flames club that traded away is former captain and all-time leading scorer Jarome Iginla early Thursday morning to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a pair of college forwards and a 2013 first-round pick.

Iginla left the Flames as their all-time leader in goals (525), points (1,095) and total games (1,219), while placing second in assists (570) over his 16- plus seasons in southern Alberta.

In their first game since the trade, Calgary was defeated 6-4 by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Dennis Wideman, Curtis Glencross, Brian McGrattan and Mikael Backlund all scored in Calgary's fifth loss in seven games, while Matt Stajan notched the 200th assist of his career.

Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled after two periods for surrendering five goals on 20 shots. Joey McDonald stopped all four shots he faced in the third as the Flames had an eight-game home winning streak snapped.

"I can't fault the effort, but obviously we gave them three or four goals," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "I have to give my team a really good grade for the effort, for the compete level that they put in."

Calgary, which will hit the road for three straight after hosting Edmonton on Wednesday, is now seven points back of a playoff spot, while the Oilers are just two points back of the eighth-place Blue Jackets thanks to their current winning streak.

Edmonton will look to build off Saturday's 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks that featured a pair of franchise records.

Taylor Hall completed the third hat trick of his career just 7:53 into the game, breaking Wayne Gretzky's previous club mark of 12:38 on Dec. 17, 1986.

"Any time you can break the Great One's record, it's pretty special. It's just one of those games where everything I shot at the start went in and then you saw at the end of the game everything we shot didn't go in. So it was definitely huge to get a big start like that and after that we played really well," said Hall, who has eight points in his last four games.

Hall scored just 16 seconds into the game and Ladislav Smid followed with a goal at the 2:05 mark. Hall then notched his second goal 38 seconds later and the three goals in the opening 2:43 set a new club mark, surpassing the old record of 3:25 set on Dec. 16, 1981.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists and has logged seven helpers in his last four games, while Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves in his sixth career shutout.

Edmonton wraps a three-game homestand tonight and Wednesday's finale begins a four-game swing for the playoff hopefuls.

The Sports Network

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