Flames 6, Oilers 2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)
Stempniak had his second career hat trick and added an assist to help Calgary rout Edmonton 6-2 on Saturday night. The Flames have won nine in a row in the series, four this season, and 16 of 17.
Stempniak had one goal in his previous 20 games.
''I was the recipient of a couple of good plays and it feels good to score in a win,'' Stempniak said. ''It was a big game for us and it was nice to be able to contribute like that. It's a relief to get some goals. Hopefully that is the start, and I can get rolling off of this.''
''We know how important the points are the rest of the way in and we want to play consistently hard hockey,'' Comeau said. ''We played well on this road trip, and if we can continue to do that and play as well as we have at home, I think we are going to set ourselves up nicely. Everyone is keeping their eyes on the standings right now. There aren't going to be any easy games from here on out.''
Andy Sutton and Ryan Smyth replied for the Oilers (17-26-4), who are digging themselves a canyon at the moment with only one win in their last nine games and wins in just five of their last 25 outings.
''It's unacceptable,'' Smyth said. ''Everybody has to look in the mirror and take responsibility right now. We have to come and play hard with pride, character and care.''
Oilers coach Tom Renney said his team's start took it out of contention.
''We got ourselves behind the eight-ball right away,'' Renney said. ''We weren't very smart. Calgary has played very disciplined against us and we needed to match that intelligence and play the way we need to play to have success. I think they are giving it everything they have, but are at a little bit of a loss right now. It may be a confidence issue. But the answer is with them, not anybody else.''
Stempniak gave the Flames a 3-0 lead with 1:08 left in the first, beating goalie Nikolai Khabibulin with a wrist shot to the top corner. He added his second of the game with 36 seconds left in the second on a long, low shot that beat Khabibulin to the glove side.
Devan Dubnyk came in to replace Khabibulin in the Edmonton net to start the third.
Stempniak completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 2:05 to go. He has 12 goals this season.
NOTES: Edmonton's Taylor Hall returned after taking 30 stitches above his left eye two games before in Columbus when he fell in the pregame warmup and took a skate from teammate Corey Potter. Both teams wore helmets in the pregame warmup in the wake of the accident.