Preseason is about players trying to earn spots in the lineup – and there aren’t many up for grabs with the Flames.
One guy that came into camp with his spot locked up was backup goalie Dan Vladar.
He’s been stellar in every exhibition tilt he’s played. He kept that up in the provincial capital.
On Friday night in Edmonton, he was the star of the show for Calgary with 36 saves in a 2-1 loss.
Vladar played the full 60 minutes and was excellent, standing tall in the team’s fifth game of the preseason.
Dillon Dube was the lone goal scorer for the Flames.
An NHL-laden Flames lineup skated to a 4-0 victory over a mostly AHL-ish Oilers crew Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Friday in Edmonton, the homeside iced a veteran lineup, including Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as well the team’s big off-season acqusition, Jack Campbell, between the pipes.
The Flames had some notable names playing up front including Jonathan Huberdeau, Tyler Toffoli and Dube. Check out the Flames lineup below.
Just 3:51 into the game, the Flames went to the penalty-kill when Juuso Valimaki was sent off for holding Draisaitl.
The Oilers swarmed with four shots and few more quality chances that didn’t hit the net but Vladar stood tall, with an assist from Rasmus Andersson who saved a rebound chance.
Calgary got their first powerplay of the game at 6:54 but it was the Oilers who would strike shorthanded, Kailer Yamamoto battling to win a puck behind the Calgary net and then skating out and feeding it cross-ice, the puck going off the stick of Vladar and right onto the tape of Draisaitl who put it home on the back door.
The Flames tied it up 15:49, the puck bouncing around and finding its way right onto the stick of Dube all alone out front and he made no mistake.
Vladar was exceptional in the first, making 12 saves in the opening 20, including on a point-blank attempt by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
And here’s another look from ice level:
Just over five minutes into the middle stanza, Vladar again stoned Nugent-Hopkins with another stellar stop.
Not to be outdone, he stopped Evander Kane in tight not long after.
Calvin Pickard replaced Campbell in net, who left with seven saves on eight shots.
Sonny Milano made Pickard work for a big save when the Flames player – in camp on PTO – found open ice in the slot and snapped a great shot the Oilers ‘tender gobbled up.
Then there was scary moment for the home crowd when Kane collided with McDavid in the neutral zone, the Oilers captain down for a bit before skating off.
Vladar was massive save again when Zach Hyman took a pass from Jesse Puljujarvi on a 2-on-1 but was robbed.
The Flames goalie contined the heroics in the third, stopping Philip Broberg and then Kane in quick succesion. Both were jaw droppers.
Brett Kulak’s long shot from the left point at 8:55 found a hole shortside to put the Oilers up 2-1.
Darnell Nurse and Mitch McLain had two fights in the tilt.
Earlier Friday, the Flames made cuts. Click here for the full list.
THEY SAID IT:
BY THE NUMBERS:
Shots: CGY 22, EDM 38
Powerplay: CGY 0-3, EDM 0-3
Hits: CGY 30, EDM 27
Face-offs: CGY 45%, EDM 55%
*Scoring chances: CGY 13, EDM 24
*High-danger scoring chances: CGY 4, EDM 13
*According of Natural Stat Trick (5-on-5)
10 – Jonathan Huberdeau
15 – Sonny Milano
21 – Kevin Rooney
29 – Dillon Dube
47 – Connor Zary
50 – Cody Eakin
61 – Clark Bishop
63 – Adam Ruzicka
71 – Walker Duehr
73 – Tyler Toffoli
75 – Mitch McLain
79 – Cole Schwindt
3 – Connor Mackey
4 – Rasmus Andersson
6 – Juuso Valimaki
26 – Michael Stone
53 – Nicolas Meloche
55 – Noah Hanifin
32 – Dustin Wolf
80 – Dan Vladar
The Flames host the Kraken at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday at 7 p.m. Click here for tickets