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Flames 4, Oilers 1

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EDMONTON - The Calgary Flames were supposed to be an easy mark.

They'd been stripped down at the NHL trade deadline, they were gutted by illness and injury, they were exhausted by the schedule and they were beaten 8-2 when they last crossed paths with Edmonton.

Yet they rolled into Rexall Place for the rematch Saturday and -- wouldn't you know it -- the skeletal remains of their lineup gave it to the shell-shocked Oilers.

Edmonton, in a full-on tailspin, lost 4-1 to extend its losing streak to five games and counting. They Oilers have scored just four goals in those five games.

It was shocking, given the Edmonton was loaded with young superstars and had been sitting in eighth place less than two weeks ago. Now they're 12th and sinking fast.

The Flames, despite missing a handful of key regulars because of illness and injury, with six minor leaguers in the line-up and playing their third game in four nights, were all over the Oilers.

They jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Mikael Backlund picked the top corner on Nikolai Khabibulin just 26 seconds after the opening faceoff and continued to press all night.

The Oilers managed to tie it on a rare goal from Lennart Petrell, but they couldn't keep up with what was left of the Flames.

Dennis Wideman made it 2-1 Calgary on a power play goal at 1:55, and Sven Baertschi made it 3-1 on an unassisted goal three minutes, drawing a loud chorus of boos from the fans at Rexall Place.

Flames rookie Max Reinhart, who's been in the league less than two weeks, put it away with the 4-1 goal midway through the second period after a terrible giveaway by Justin Schultz.

The Oilers were jeered off their own ice at the end of the game.

NOTES: The Oilers revealed that winger Ales Hemsky had been playing the last month with a broken bone in his foot. He injured it blocking a shot March 7 in Detroit but wanted to keep playing through it while Edmonton was still in the playoff race. Now that they're out, and it's getting worse, they're going to sit him out for a week at least... The Oilers have the worst faceoff percentage in the NHL at 45.8 percent, just a bit behind 28th place Calgary at 47.2... With Hemsky out, Nail Yakupov gets promoted to his spot on the second line with Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi... Ryan Smyth is the Oilers' nominee for the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey... The Flames, having already been stripped of Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline, were without injured players Curtus Glencross, Alex Tanguay, Matt Stajan and Steve Begin.
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