Goaltender Viktor Fasth kept the Oilers in the game for the first two periods but a goal by T.J. Brodie lifted the Flames to a 1-0 pre-season win in Calgary.
The Oilers managed just one shot in the opening 20 minutes, while the Flames peppered Fasth with 14. The Oilers netminder stood strong, turning away every last one to allow his team to enter the locker room with a scoreless tie.
“I felt a bit rusty in the beginning,” said Fasth, who made 19 saves on 20 shots for the game. “I think I fell there on the first save I did, I fell backwards and I was lucky to get my pad on it. But after that I kind of felt that I was growing into the game and I felt better and better as time went on.”
With Matt Hendricks in the box for slashing, the Flames broke the scoring open at 2:06 of the second period. T.J. Brodie scored top-shelf on a slap shot from the top of the circle. He was assisted by Max Reinhart and Mark Giordano.
The Oilers had their best scoring opportunity of the opening 40 minutes at the 14:33 mark of the second period. Nail Yakupov missed Teddy Purcell with a pass on a 2-on-1 rush.
“It’s just tough getting back into game mode like just stopping on pucks and doing the little things,” Oilers centre Boyd Gordon said. “But as a team, we need to be harder to play against and that’s something we really are trying to strive for and hit home here. I think the more games you play the sharper you get. This is just the first game of seven so we’ll just take the positives and move on.”
The Oilers trailed in shots 20-7 at the end of two periods.
Both teams swapped their goalies heading into the third period, with Laurent Brossoit going in for Edmonton and Brad Thiessen replacing Jonas Hiller for Calgary.
“Viktor was outstanding and I thought Brossoit came in and did a pretty nice job. They were definitely good tonight,” Oilers bench boss Todd Nelson said.
Brossoit made eight saves on eight shots.
With 1:31 remaining in the final frame, Corban Knight snuck a shot in under the crossbar for a goal. But after review, the score was waved off by the referee.
An inability to net the equalizer doomed the Oilers in this pre-season Battle of Alberta.