CALGARY — Chalk up yet another third period comeback for the Calgary Flames.
Led by Lance Bouma’s first career two-goal game, the Flames scored four times in a furious final 20 minutes Saturday night to overcome a 2-0 deficit and win 4-2 over the Edmonton Oilers.
It is the league-leading ninth time Calgary has won a game when trailing after two periods. It’s also a franchise record.
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“We just knew going into that third period that our third is always our best and we had a chance to win it and we knew those were two big points,” said Bouma. “We’ve done it a lot this year and we definitely have the belief in here going into the third period, whether we’re down by three or down by two, that we can come back in the game.”
Adding to the drama, the Flames had been shutout in its previous five periods.
“Guys never quit. As soon as we got one, there was electricity on the bench and guys were moving,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley. “Guys show confidence. We’re not scared of being down in the score, it doesn’t rattle us. We find a way to get those big wins.”
Calgary has scored 62 third period goals, which also leads the NHL. The 32 goals against is also No. 1 in the league.
Paul Byron got the comeback started after deflecting in Mason Raymond’s shot at 2:56 for his first goal in 29 games.
The sell-out Scotiabank Saddledome crowd of 19,289 then erupted when Bouma tied it 2-2 at 6:16, snapping a shot through the pads of Ben Scrivens.
The go-ahead goal came 2:33 after that on a power play. Sean Monahan tried to centre a pass but instead the puck deflected past Scrivens off the skate of Oilers defenceman Keith Aulie.
It was the team-leading 16th goal for the 20-year-old sophomore. Four have them have been game-winners.
“We weren’t ready to play in the third,” summed up Scrivens. “How many times do we have to go through it before we learn our lesson? Hopefully it’s this one.”
Jordan Eberle, who had a goal and an assist, says the team only has itself to blame.
“It was simple mistakes. We shot ourselves in the foot tonight,” said Eberle. “We turned a couple pucks over and I mean, it’s just been kind of the same case. Every guy in the room has done it. Myself, a lot of guys. It seems like every night there’s a couple plays that shoot us and that’s where we lost.”
Bouma wrapped up the barrage at 16:27 converting a two-on-one pass from Mikael Backlund.
The 24-year-old had a couple chances for the hat-trick when Edmonton pulled the goalie but he couldn’t get it in.
“Two empty nets. I don’t know what happened, probably got a little excited but that’s the way it goes, but I’ll take the two,” said Bouma, who has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last nine games. “It’s always nice to contribute whenever you can. Obviously right now, we’re rolling and it’s been a fun go here lately, we just have to keep it going.”
It was an important victory for Calgary (27-20-3). It moves the club three points up on the Los Angeles Kings, who are chasing the Flames for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Benoit Pouliot also scored for Edmonton (13-28-9), who remains second-last in the NHL’s overall standings, four points up on Buffalo.
“I think they came out and played for the win. They went after it and I think obviously we were on our heels too much, just kind of waiting to win. That doesn’t work,” said Oilers captain Andrew Ference.
Jonas Hiller had 17 stops for Calgary to improve his record to 15-14-2 while Scrivens had 29 saves for Edmonton, falling to 9-17-7.
Edmonton struck first, opening the scoring at 2:43 on its second shot of the game.
Off a faceoff in the Flames end, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out worked Matt Stajan for the puck, knocking it into the slot where Eberle put a quick shot past Hiller.
It was the fifth game in a row Calgary has given up the first goal.
Eberle then set up Pouliot at 11:41 for his 11th goal.
Going back to New Year’s Eve, Eberle has 11 points- including seven goals in his last 13 games.
Pouliot has been hot also with eight goals in his last dozen games since returning from a broken foot, which sidelined him for 18 games.