Oilers 1, Flames 1

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CALGARY (AP)—Jussi Markkanen justified the Edmonton Oilers’ trade of Tommy Salo.

Markkanen made 30 saves and Shawn Horcoff scored at 9:53 of the third period to offset a goal by Ville Nieminen to lift the Oilers into a 1-1 tie with theCalgary Flames on Tuesday night.

“Jussi was great for us tonight and that’s the type of effort we’re going to need down the stretch,” Horcoff said.

Horcoff deflected a slap shot by Cory Cross that Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was able to stop. But Horcoff put in the rebound for his 14th goal of the season.

“A big goal and a big point and it still keeps us very much alive and in the hunt,” said Horcoff.

Nieminen scored 2:33 into the third for Calgary. Kiprusoff made 27 saves for the Flames.

Markkanen was making his second start since being acquired from the New York Rangers last week. He was in goal for Edmonton in a 1-1 tie with St. Louis on Thursday.

Markkanen made a game-saving glove save off a shot by Jarome Iginla with 7 seconds remaining in regulation, stopping Iginla’s slap shot from the top of the face-off circle.

Markkanen and Ty Conklin will share Edmonton’s goaltending duties after Salo was traded Tuesday to the Colorado Avalanche.

Calgary moved within four points of Dallas for fifth place in the Western Conference. The Stars lost 4-0 to Pittsburgh.

The tie left Edmonton, unbeaten in its last four (2-0-2), five points out of the final playoff position in the Western Conference. The Oilers begin a five-game homestand Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

“We’ve talked about how good we need to be at home down the stretch and this is going to be a good test for us,” Horcoff said.

Nieminen opened the scoring 2:33 into the third with his first goal in 33 games dating back to Dec. 21. Calgary acquired Nieminen on Feb. 24 from the Chicago Blackhawks.

“We played really hard tonight. We were a desperate team, just like they were and we broke even,” Nieminen said. “It was a little disappointing, especially for our part that we didn’t get two points but there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

Nieminen was the first of three players coach and general manager Darryl Sutter added prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. The others were Chris Simon andMarcus Nilson.

Notes

Nilson made his debut for Calgary playing on a line with center Dean McAmmond and right-winger Shean Donovan. Nilson replaced Martin Gelinas, who missed his second game due to a sore neck. … After missing 11 games with abroken hand, Conklin dressed as Markkanen’s backup.

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Three Stars

  Game Tying Goal
S. Horcoff S. Horcoff
Edmonton Oilers
Scored at 9:53 of 3rd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Jussi Markkanen Edm 31 30
Miikka Kiprusoff Cgy 28 27