Oilers cash in on late power play to burn Flames 2-1

CALGARY — Connor McDavid's league-leading 31st goal to extend his point streak to 16 games was the winner on Tuesday as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 2-1.

Tyson Barrie with his 100th career goal also scored for Edmonton (19-15-2), which leap frogs Calgary to move back into the second wild-card spot in the NHL's Western Conference.

Mikael Backlund scored the lone goal for Calgary (16-13-7), which had its four-game points streak snapped. Backlund also put a shot off the goalpost in the game's waning seconds as the Flames pressed for the equalizer.

Stuart Skinner was superb in net for Edmonton, making 47 stops and continuing his mastery of the Flames this season. In winning twice to go along with a perfect relief appearance in the teams' other head-to-head meeting, Skinner has stopped 138-of-141 shots. On the season, he's 11-9-1.

At the other end, Jacob Markstrom had 20 stops. He falls to 15-15-2.

Tied 1-1, Edmonton got its third power play of the night at 7:15 of the third period when Andrew Mangiapane took his second offensive zone penalty. He was whistled for holding when he reached around with his glove and grabbed Darnell Nurse while trying to beat the defenceman to a puck in the Oilers' corner.

Stymied on their first two man advantages, it took just 13 seconds for Edmonton to convert with McDavid taking a pass from Leon Draisaitl from the middle of the slot, whipping a wrist shot past Markstrom's glove.

McDavid's 16-game point spree (15 goals, 17 assists) is the longest active streak in the NHL and one short of his career high.

After a scoreless opening period, Calgary struck first when Backlund buried Blake Coleman's rebound at 1:12.

The lead was short-lived with the Oilers pulling even at 4:58. Kailer Yamamoto fed the puck back to the blue line where Barrie's slap shot through a maze of sticks and bodies eluded a screened Markstrom.

Two minutes after tying it, Edmonton had its first chance to take the lead but on its second man-advantage of the game, Draisaitl was stopped three times, including twice on his patented one-time snapshot from the faceoff dot.

Draisaitl, eighth in the NHL with 21 goals, has gone six games without a goal, which is the longest drought since an eight-game goalless stretch Feb. 19 to March 6, 2021.

Calgary finished 0-for-1 on the power play' while the Oilers went 1-for-3.

LETHAL POWER PLAY

Edmonton entered the night with the NHL's No. 1 ranked power play at 32.3 per cent, which includes a scorching 18-for-43 (41.8 per cent) over the prior 12 games.

The NHL's all-time best PP mark belongs to the Montreal Canadiens, who finished at 31.9 per cent in 1977-78. Calgary, entered the game as the league's most penalized team having been short-handed 135 times.

BATTLE OF ALBERTA OVER

Coming off their first post-season meeting since 1991, the Flames and Oilers only meet three times this season and the season series is now over with Edmonton taking two of the three games. They had split their two games in October, each winning in the other team's building.

UP NEXT

Oilers: Head to Seattle to take on the Kraken on Friday.

Flames: Are right back in action on Wednesday in Seattle.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2022.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press