Flames blank Oilers 4-0
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Calgary Flames are continuing to do their part in order to maintain a precarious playoff position.
Dennis Wideman had a goal and two assists and Jonas Hiller made 27 saves for the shutout and Calgary earned crucial points with a 4-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Markus Granlund had a pair of goals and Joe Colborne also scored for the Flames, who have won three of their past four. Calgary is also holding onto one of the final playoff positions in the Western Conference with just three games to play.
''With the way that everyone else is playing around us and how tight it is, this was pretty much a must-win for us,'' Wideman said. ''We definitely couldn't afford to drop this one. We saw Winnipeg had won earlier and Los Angeles won, so we knew we had to win this game.''
The Flames didn't come out with the kind of jump that they wanted, but came around as the game went on.
''We could have been a bit better in the first,'' Calgary defenseman Kris Russell said. ''Hiller had to come in and make some big stops for us.''
Karri Ramo started in net for Calgary, but appeared to pull a muscle in his left leg just 58 seconds into the game and had to be helped off the ice. Jonas Hiller came off the bench in relief.
''It's tough to see someone go down,'' Hiller said. ''The good thing is that it was early so I was still warm from the warm-up. You go from being a spectator to suddenly being the goalie out there. But it worked out well.''
The Oilers have lost three in a row and were swept in their five-game season series against the Flames.
''We wanted this one bad, we talked about it before the game,'' Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz said. ''This was a huge game for them and it would have been nice to steal a couple of points and kick them a little bit, but that's the way it goes.''
The Flames started the scoring at 1:59 of the first, as Colborne directed in a bouncing puck that got behind Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens
Calgary had the bulk of the second-period chances, with Josh Jooris being stopped on a breakaway after Taylor Hall's giveaway. Scrivens also made an acrobatic save to stop Sean Monahan during a scramble.
The Flames capitalized at 17:56 of the second as Granlund had trouble handling Jooris' pass, but it worked in his favor as Scrivens went down, allowing him to lift it into the net and make it 2-0.
Calgary gave itself some breathing room on a power play at 2:16 of the third as Wideman blasted a shot from the top of the circle off the post and into the net.
Granlund added his second of the game at 18:52 of the third.
Both teams are off until Tuesday when the Flames return home to face Arizona and the Oilers play the second game of their final three-game homestand against the Los Angeles Kings.
Notes: The previous time the Flames swept their season series against Edmonton was in 2009-2010, also the last time Calgary made the playoffs. ... Edmonton will miss the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year. ... Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a late scratch with a foot injury. ... With the injuries on the Edmonton blue line, the average age of its defensemen for the game was 23.5 years. ... There was speculation that 2014 fourth overall draft pick Sam Bennett would play for Calgary, but he was a healthy scratch.