EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)Sean Monahan scored the shootout winner and the Calgary Flames beat the rival Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Wednesday night in a heated game that featured a much-anticipated fight between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian.
Andrew Mangiapane had a pair of goals and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames, who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 27-19-6. David Rittich finished with 31 saves.
”Our only concern right now is to get two points,” Monahan said. ”You look at the standings and this is obviously a four-point game. You’re trying to move up a day at a time. When you’re playing your rivals like that, obviously you want to step up and want to earn those points and we did that tonight.”
Kailer Yamamoto, Alex Chiasson and Matt Benning scored for the Oilers (26-18-6), who won their previous two.
”It’s fun when you’re playing games that matter and tonight was one that mattered, for sure,” Edmonton captain Connor McDavid said. ”The crowd felt that, both teams felt that and it was fun, for sure.”
In the last meeting between the clubs on Jan. 11 in Calgary, Tkachuk delivered a pair of crushing hits on Kassian, prompting the Oilers winger to jump Tkachuk – a move that earned Kassian a two-game suspension.
Kassian returned from the ban Wednesday and the two squared off for a brief scrap during a faceoff late in the first period.
”A lot of people didn’t want me to do it, but I wanted to,” Tkachuk said. ”So it was just kind of a way for me to stick up for myself and it didn’t have anything to do with owing anybody. It was just doing it for myself there.”
Many were anticipating an altercation.
”Now it’s over,” Kassian said. ”I wish that would have happened in the first place, then it would have been done. I respect him for stepping up to the plate.”
The Flames scored just 61 seconds in with a bit of a gift goal as a sharp-angle shot by Lindholm hit defender Adam Larsson’s stick and deflected past Oilers goalie Mike Smith.
Less than a minute after Rittich made a point-blank save on McDavid with five minutes to play in the first, a Flames shot trickled past Smith and sat on the goal line before being cleared to safety with a millimeter to spare by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who then got into a rare fight with Monahan on the next shift.
Edmonton tied the game six minutes into the second period when Yamamoto scored his fourth goal in nine games up with the big club this season on a rebound.
Calgary regained the lead with seven minutes left in the middle frame as Mangiapane fired a one-timer to the top right corner.
The Oilers evened things up again less than two minutes later when Chiasson scored on a rebound in tight on the power play.
Mangiapane scored his second of the game with 45 seconds left in the second, waiting out Smith before lifting in a backhand shot.
Edmonton made it 3-all with eight minutes left in the third when Benning, a defenseman who had missed the past 20 games with a head injury, made a great move to get past Noah Hanifin and beat Rittich for his first goal of the season. That sent the game to a thrilling overtime session, when both goalies were forced to make five-alarm saves to send it to the shootout.
Flames: Off until Saturday when they host Edmonton for a rematch.
Oilers: Back in action Friday when they welcome the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues to town.
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