SNAPSHOT: Toffoli scores twice to lead Flames to victory over rival Oilers

Merchandise stores on the site may have sold No. 73 jerseys on Monday.

Trade acquisition Tyler Toffoli was already becoming a fan favorite at the Saddledome. A first star against the great rivals should cement it.

Toffoli scored twice in the space of 3 1/2 minutes in the second period to propel the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 victory over their rival Edmonton Oilers in the latest edition of the Battle of Alberta.

It’s been love at first sight since the Flames acquired Toffoli in a Valentine’s Day trade with the Montreal Canadiens.

The 29-year-old right winger has scored seven goals – and added three assists – in 10 outings for Calgary so far. His new team is undefeated when he finds the back of the net.

Just as important as Toffoli’s contributions on Monday were the names that did not appear on the scoresheet: Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who tied for first in the league scoring race, were eliminated.

Johnny Gaudreau scored a key surefire goal in the closing stages, Jacob Markstrom finished with 27 saves and the hosts went a perfect four of four down to extend their home point streak to 13 games. They are a splendid 12-0-1 during this period.

Around the same time that the latecomers to the first intermission were returning to their seats with their Dome Foam refills, a close and aimless competition became the Toffoli Show.

With the hosts on the power play, Matthew Tkachuk attempted his between-the-legs move from the edge of the area. Although Mikko Koskinen wasn’t fooled, he spit the rebound straight at Toffoli for a top-notch finish.

Two turns later, the new guy accepted a nifty no-look shot from rookie teammate Adam Ruzicka and sailed around the left circle with no opponent nearby. That left plenty of time to pick his target before he fired a wicked wrist shot past Koskinen’s glove for seconds of the night.

The Oilers took advantage of an accidental assist from referee Dan O’Rourke to cut the lead early in the third. A dump whizzed past Markstrom’s net at an odd angle, then took off from O’Rourke’s skid toward one of the out-of-town guests. Old friend Derek Ryan unloaded a quick shot, with Devin Shore setting up the rebound.

With just under three minutes remaining in a case of madness, Gaudreau launched into a breakaway and scored with a blistering deke to his right.

The Flames are now 1-2 against the Oilers in 2021-22.

TALK ABOUT THE PLAYOFFS

At 10:50, Darryl Sutter already had his game on his mind. There is no surprise there.

Nearly nine hours before the puck was released in the final Battle of Alberta matchup, an Edmonton scribe mentioned that the Flames seemed to be playing spring style: rolling four lanes, wearing down opponents with a physical mark, etc.

Sutter barely blinked.

“You have to get to the playoffs,” he stressed. “Three teams here will, five won’t. Clearly. So you better play playoff hockey or try to play playoff hockey so you can play on May 2.n/a or 3dr.”

When Sutter says “here,” he is referring to the NHL’s Pacific Division. Right now, the Flames are at the top of that pile, and that’s despite having the fewest games played by any of the eight clubs so far.

The Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights are currently sitting in the other playoff spots. Thanks to Monday’s win, the Flames improved their record to 34-14-7 and are now 11 points ahead of the Oilers, who also find themselves on the wrong side of the wild-card pick.

“At the beginning of the season, I said a lot of things: that Vegas and Edmonton were the two teams that were clearly ahead of the rest in this division, on paper and the things they did and the players they had. Sutter said. after skating in the morning at the Saddledome. “So we feel that to get in, this is a team that we have to finish first.”

While the Llamas have roosted over the Pacific for nearly three weeks, the focus hasn’t changed.

They talk all the time about the quest to earn a postseason invite. If they’re already thinking about securing home-field advantage or clinching the division’s No. 1 seed, they’re certainly not hinting at it.

“If we win the division, great,” said Flames forward Blake Coleman, who signed this summer after helping the Tampa Bay Lightning save back-to-back championships. “But our goal is not to win the division. It’s to bring a Cup to Calgary.

OUT OF THE GLASS

The Flames now have a 13-game home scoring streak, which is the second-longest streak in the NHL so far in the 2021-22 campaign. The Colorado Avalanche set a high standard with a 20-0-2 run at Ball Arena in Mile High City…Advertised crowds were 17,246, the largest of the season at Saddledome…The Oilers were seven regulars short, including the mighty. The team will face quarterback Tyson Barrie, forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi and goalkeeper Mike Smith… Monday’s match began with a powerful rendition of the Ukrainian national anthem by opera singer Stephania Romaniuk. . Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle went to humanitarian efforts in the Ukraine… The Flames return Tuesday, hosting Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at the Saddledome (7 pm MT, Sportsnet West/Sportsnet 960 The Fan). Sutter’s side are an impressive 6-2-1 so far in the second half of straight sets.

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