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Draisaitl, Bouchard help Oilers snap 7-game skid with 5-3 win over rival Flames

EDMONTON — It had been more than a month since the Edmonton Oilers landed in the win column.

Leon Draisaitl had two goals and two assists and Evan Bouchard had two goals as the Oilers came from behind to snap a seven-game losing skid, rallying to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Saturday.

It was Edmonton's first win since defeating Seattle on Dec. 18.

“It feels great. Losing is awful, it sucks, it is not fun. It feels like there is always a cloud around you,” Draisiatl said. “We are not where we want to be yet, but this is a start and you have to start at some point. (Mikko Koskinen) was amazing. It was a full team effort, a good game for us.”

Koskinen was solid in the Edmonton net, making 44 saves.

Brendan Perlini also scored for the Oilers (19-16-2), who were in desperate need for a win, having gone 2-11-2 in their previous 15 games. Connor McDavid chipped in with two assists.

“Whenever you’re losing games it’s obviously a bad feeling,” McDavid said. “We’re human. We have feelings. Those losses pile up and they weigh on you. It’s human nature. It’s nice to find a way to get a win. Hopefully we build a little momentum here.”

Matthew Tkachuk, Milan Lucic and Noah Hanifin replied for the Flames (18-12-6), who are 3-8-1 in their last 12 games. Hanifin added two assists.

“It’s very disappointing, we did a lot of things right, we created a lot of chances and in the third period, we spent the majority of the time in the O-zone and only gave up four shots in the third period,” Lucic said.

“It’s disappointing especially with the effort that we gave and how well we played. It’s one of those things, they get life on the power play and they get themselves back in it and we deserved better than the result that we got.”

Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 26-of-30 shots.

As has come to be expected, Edmonton allowed the game’s first goal. It came 8:29 into the first period as Tkachuk lifted a rebound over Koskinen’s leg to tie for the team lead with his 18th goal of the season. It was the 15th time in the last 16 contests – and the 24th in the last 28 games – that the Oilers have allowed the first goal.

The Flames made it 2-0 with a power-play goal scored with just 41 seconds remaining in the opening frame as Lucic was able to tip a Hanifin shot through the Oiler goalie’s legs.

Edmonton got on the board 5:35 into the second period as a Bouchard blast from the point on the power play beat Markstrom. McDavid earned an assist to avoid going pointless for four games in a row for the first time in his career.

Bouchard picked the top corner for his second power-play goal of the game midway through the middle period to knot the game 2-2.

The Oilers surged in front with 1:42 left in the second as Perlini beat Markstrom with a long wrist shot, however the Flames erased that lead less than a minute later on an even longer shot from Hanifin.

Edmonton went up 4-3 with 5:31 left in the third period as Draisaitl showed tremendous patience in waiting for Markstrom to go down before sending home his 27th goal of the season.

Draisaitl added an empty netter with one second to play.

The Flames are back at it on Monday as they host the St. Louis Blues, while the Oilers are off until Tuesday when they travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks.

NOTES: It was the first meeting between the heated provincial rivals since Oct. 16, a game won 5-2 by Edmonton with Oilers goalie Mike Smith making 45 saves… The Flames were without Tyler Pitlick (undisclosed) and Tyler Parsons (ankle)… Edmonton’s injury woes were more pronounced, missing Mike Smith (thumb), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (lower body), Zach Hyman (COVID protocol), Zack Kassian (non-COVID-19 illness) and Tyson Barrie (upper body).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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