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Oilers get some puck luck to snap losing streak

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CALGARY, Alberta -- David Perron helped the Edmonton Oilers snap a five-game losing streak by getting some puck luck.

The Oilers left winger scored the winning goal from behind the Calgary Flames goal as the Oilers won the first Battle of Alberta this season 4-2 Saturday night at the Saddledome.

The win was the Oilers (5-15-2) first against a Western Conference opponent this season, while the Flames (6-11-3) are now winless in their last six outings.

Down 2-0 after two periods and mounting just 14 shots on net, the Oilers fired home three goals in a span of 6:42 to completely take control.

"There are games during the year we felt we could have better results," Perron said. "We didn't. Tonight it's the opposite. We will certainly take it.

"Once (Jordan Eberle) scored that first goal, you could feel it on the bench. We were starting to wake up. It's frustrating to know we had to wake up in the middle of the third period like that. It's something we can win build on. Having a win every once in a while feels good."

The Oilers finally broke the goose-egg less than four minutes into the third. Left winger Taylor Hall broke into the Flames zone and sent a perfect pass to center Eberle.

The Regina native roofed the puck past Flames goaltender Reto Berra for his fifth of the season.

Five minutes later, the Oilers knotted the score 2-2 with some deft hand-eye co-ordination by right winger Ales Hemsky.

With the puck flying through the crease after ricocheting off Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, Hemsky waited for it to get lower than the crossbar, then he batted it out of the air into the net.

The winner wasn't a thing of beauty but it was some well-timed good fortune for the struggling Oilers.

Perron was skating behind then net when he fired the puck at Berra. The puck bounced off the crouched goalie and into the net.

"We gave them two goals out of three," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "After 40 minutes, I felt that we gave them nothing. We were playing our style. Then, their first goal and third goal, there's only one word for those two goals -- awful."

Center Boyd Gordon added an empty-netter as insurance with 48 seconds left as the Oilers fans in the building made some noise. Although last in the Western Conference, the Oilers hope this win turns things around.

"When it's not coming, you start squeezing the stick and that's when we start playing badly," Eberle said. "When we get down by a couple goals, we need to just stop fighting it and play hockey. This is going to give us some confidence."

The home side got on the board first after carrying the play the majority of the opening 13 minutes. After forcing a turnover at their own blue line, the Flames broke out with rookie left winger Sean Monahan bringing the puck into the Oilers zone.

Monahan dropped a nice pass to the slot for center Jiri Hudler, who put it right back on the freshman's stick and he went over Calgary native Devan Dubnyk's blocker side for a 1-0 lead.

The goal ended a six-game goal drought for Monahan and was his second in 12 games after coming out of the gates on fire with six in his first eight NHL outings.

The Flames took a 2-0 edge late in the second period when Wideman pounced on a puck coming through the slot and ripped it to the top corner with a blistering slap shot. That goal was Wideman's second of the season and first in 15 games.

But the home side certainly has some regrets about not building a bigger lead in the first two frames because there were plenty of chances.

"We totally changed our game after they scored the first goal," said Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid, who played against his former team for the first time. "We can't do that.

"The other team will score some goals against us. We can't let one goal change the style of our game. After that first goal, we dominated the game. We didn't allow them much. It was about 14 shots. After the first goal, something changed and we totally handed the game to them."

NOTES: Flames D Ladislav Smid played against his former team for the first time since a Nov. 8 trade that sent him down the highway. The Flames picked up Smid along with minor league G Olivier Roy in exchange for prospect G Laurent Brossoit and minor league RW Roman Horak ... Oilers G Ilya Bryzgalov backstopped the Oklahoma City Barons to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Abbotsford Heat Saturday night, making 25 saves against the Flames AHL club. Bryzgalov, who was signed Nov. 8 and is getting conditioning in the AHL, rebounded from a 5-4 loss Friday night against the Heat ... On Monday, the Flames visit Winnipeg for the first time since the Jets returned to the NHL ... The Flames wore their new third jerseys for the second time this season. The debuted them in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 1 ... A day after sending LW Mark Arcobello to Oklahoma City, the Oilers recalled the rookie. They send down D Oscar Klefbom, who joined the team Friday.
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