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“Time will tell, but we certainly now have something that we can build on.”
It wasn’t just the result that was encouraging.
The Flames have been desperate for some depth scoring. They got it.
A half-dozen different dudes found the back of the net in this win over the Oilers, and only two — Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau — were the obvious suspects.
Mikael Backlund and Milan Lucic notched key second-period goals as part of a seven-point outburst for the third line, while Dillon Dube and Sam Bennett also buried.
On the other side, superstar Connor McDavid — currently leading the NHL’s scoring race — collected one goal and one assist to extend his offensive cruise to nine consecutive games.
The Flames have been asking for more emotion and energy. There was no shortage of that Saturday, although everybody kept their gloves on.
They’ve been stressing the importance of sticking to the script even if they find themselves behind, and they did despite trailing 2-1 at the first intermission.
And, coming off back-to-back losses in Winnipeg, the Flames really needed these two points. They’re now 5-5-1.
“I think that’s a huge win for our team,” declared Bennett, who was back in the lineup and made the most of a top-six perch alongside Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. “We’ve definitely had ups and downs this year, so to get a solid performance from pretty much our whole team, it’s great for everyone and builds confidence moving forward.”
Lindholm scored 56 seconds into Saturday’s tilt, but Jujhar Khaira deposited a deflection and McDavid capitalized on a power-play while the hosts were on their heels. The Oilers owned a 17-3 edge on the shot-counter after 20 minutes.