In a year where very little (and by very little, we mean nothing) is going right, the Oilers managed to play a little sunshine into their dressing room Saturday.



How long it lasts is up to them, but for one night at least, the dark clouds were gone.

In a grudge match to see whose re-build is further ahead, the Oilers in Year 5 or Flames in Year 1, the Oilers fought back from a terrible scare to score four straight third period goals and salvage a 4-2 victory.

Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky and David Perron, with the winner and the insurance marker, scored in the third period rally as Edmonton overcame a well-deserved 2-0 deficit to suck most of whatever life is left in the Saddledome these days.

“It’s something we can build on,” said Perron, well aware that Edmonton only played 20 good minutes and were rather fortunate it was enough. “There have been times this year where we felt we could have had better results and didn’t. Tonight was the opposite, but we’ll certainly take it.”

This was nobody’s version of a heavyweight tilt.

The 30th-place Oilers had lost five straight and were 1-8-1 in their last 10. The 26th-place Flames had lost five straight and were 2-7-1 in their last 10.

But they managed to make it exciting.

“We found a way to win in the third,” said Eberle. “This is definitely going to give us some confidence.”

Edmonton faced an early Calgary storm, 6-0 on the shot clock and two goals posts in the first six minutes, but kept it scoreless... for as long as they could. The Flames finally broke through at 12:23 when Sean Monahan’s eighth of the season made it 1-0.

The Oilers were down 1-0 and being outshot 12-4 at the first intermission.

By Calgary!

“I think we were just getting out-battled,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “And when you get out-battled you’re going to get beaten. It shows on the scoreboard and in how many shots you get.”

Edmonton managed a bit of a push back in the second period, evening up the balance of play some and keeping the shots a respectable 10-12, but came out of it down 2-0 when a bad clearing attempt ended up on the stick of Dennis Wideman, then in the top corner of Edmonton’s net at 17:08.

But the Flames aren’t on a five-game losing streak for nothing. Their ability to preserve a slim third-period lead got put to the test early, when Eberle scored at 3:41 and Hemsky squared it at 8:18 to set up the dramatic finish.