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Monahan's OT goal sends Flames past Oilers

The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- In a game that lived down to its billing, the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers and the 27th-place Calgary Flames turned in a sloppy, mistake-filled effort that was short on action and offense Saturday night at Rexall Place.

But at least it ended with some high drama.

Center Sean Monahan scored at 1:50 of overtime to give the Flames a 2-1 victory in the Western Conference turtle derby.

"That was pretty awesome," a jubilant Monahan said. "That is my first overtime goal in the NHL. Paul Byron was just buzzing all over the puck and made a great pass to me, which fortunately enough I was able to bury.

"I was surprised that I had so much room, so it is something you have to bury at a time like that."

The Oilers, too, were surprised that Monahan was that wide open in overtime.

"Just some massive breakdowns in coverage reminiscent of the start of the year," frustrated Edmonton captain Andrew Ference said. "Wide-open guys in front of the net and in the slot. It's just definitely far from where we should be."

The Oilers were trailing 1-0 midway through the third period when left winger David Perron ripped a shot into the low corner at 9:43, lighting a fire under what had been a rather quiet game. But the Oilers could not complete the comeback.

And they take zero consolation from the overtime point.

"I don't really know if there's any prize for points now," left winger Taylor Hall said. "We're not in the playoffs and it's not like we're trying to race up the standings to get into a playoff spot. We know where are. We need to win games. Overtime losses aren't enough."

Monahan scored the only goal of the first period, burying a shot from the point at 10:15.

"One thing we have learned about (Monahan) is that he doesn't miss too many of those chances around the net," Flames defenseman Mark Giordano said. "He has a knack for putting those ones in. Good on him. I am happy for him."

The second period was a 20-minute mess, with both sides turning the puck over and gassing chances. The second-period shots were 6-3 and there was no scoring.

The Oilers had eight straight days of practice after the Olympic break, then resumed their season by scoring one goal in six periods at home.

Despite all of their speed and high-end skill, the Oilers have struggled for offense all year. They rank 22nd of 30 teams in scoring. In 61 games this season, they have been shut out eight times and held to one goal 11 times.

That's not what anyone expects from a team with talent.

"There were a few pucks laying in the crease and a few chances, but at the end of the day you have to get goals," Hall said. "It's hard to play when you're trailing the whole game. We got a nice goal from the (Sam) Gagner line, but, really, not enough offense from the offensive guys."

The Flames do not have Edmonton's skill, but they simply rolled up their sleeves and showed more will, outworking the home team at virtually every turn.

"I thought we did a good job," Giordano said. "We had a lot of chances. Our defense did a good job of beating them up ice and our forwards were making great plays. We don't like giving up that point, but I thought we played a great game, stuck with it and got rewarded."

Edmonton fell to 20-34-8 and the Flames improved to 23-30-7.

NOTES: Oilers RW Nail Yakupov had an MRI on his sore right ankle that revealed no structural damage. He expects to be back in the lineup shortly. "Feels good, much better than yesterday," said Yakupov, who was on the wrong end of a Justin Schultz shot on Thursday. ... The Oilers are carrying nine defensemen, a cumbersome total that they expect to have whittled down soon. "I'll be very honest," coach Dallas Eakins said. "We're rolling up to the trade deadline and I'm fairly certain that one way or another it'll all be sorted out by then." ... Flames RW Curtis Glencross remains out of the lineup with an ankle injury and Flames RW Lee Stempniak missed the game to be with his wife, who just delivered twins. ... Oilers LW Luke Gazdic knocked out Clagary RW Kevin Westgarth in a first-period fight. Westgarth did not return to the game, as per the NHL's concussion evaluation protocol.

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