Posted April 02, 2013 on AP on Fox
Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists and the Edmonton Oilers continued their drive for a playoff spot by winning their fourth in a row, 4-1 over the Calgary Flames on Monday. Taylor Hall, Ryan Jones and Nail Yakupov also scored for the Oilers, who have gone 7-2-2 in their past 11 games. With the win, the Oilers kept pace in the tight Western Conference playoff race, sitting in a tie with Columbus, one point back of the eighth-place St. Louis Blues. Brian McGratton scored for the Flames, who saw defenseman Jay Bouwmeester traded to St. Louis shortly before the game. The Flames have lost two in a row and six of their past eight. Edmonton scored first just before the four-minute mark to start the opening period as Hall spotted Schultz creeping in from the point and fed him the puck in the slot where the rookie was able to beat Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for his sixth of the season. The pair was at it again midway through the first as Schultz picked off a pass in the Calgary zone and sent it to Hall in front. Hall was able to beat Kiprusoff with a deft move and then lift in a backhand for his fourth goal in the past two games. Edmonton scored on both of its first two shots in the game, similar to what happened in its 4-0 blanking of Vancouver on Saturday. The Oilers went up 3-0 with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the first as Jones beat Cory Sarich to a puck along the boards and muscled a one-handed backhand shot that got through Kiprusoff. The veteran goalie was pulled in favor of backup Joey MacDonald after allowing three goals on six shots. The game slowed in the scoreless second period with the best chances belonging to the Flames, however Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk was able to come up with a pair of big saves on a tip by Curtis Glencross and a nice move by McGratton. The Oilers put the game away midway through the third as MacDonald got a piece of a Yakupov shot from the slot, only to see it dribble in behind him. It was the first goal in 17 games and seventh on the season for the 2012 first overall draft pick. Calgary spoiled Dubnyk's hopes of earning a second consecutive shutout with just 1:32 left as McGrattan scored. Dubnyk made 33 saves in the game. The two teams play again in Calgary on Wednesday. Notes: It was the second of four games between the two provincial rivals this season. Calgary took the first meeting 4-3 on Jan. 26. ... The Flames have had the better of the matches in recent years, and came into the game having won 10 of their past 12 meetings over the Oilers ... The latest trade came on the heels of last week's trade to Pittsburgh of captain Jarome Iginla. ... The Oilers also made news earlier in the day with the re-signing of defenseman Ladislav Smid to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million per season. ... The Oilers have recalled center Anton Lander from AHL Oklahoma City with Eric Belanger out with a groin injury. Lander did not suit up in the game. ... Calgary's top goal scorers, Glencross and Michael Cammalleri, came into the game having managed just five of their combined 25 goals on the road.
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