Oilers' win streak at 4 games after beating Flames

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2013 at 12:23 am •  Published: April 2, 2013
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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers used a strong start to stay on a roll.

Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists and the Oilers continued their playoff run 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 Western Conference playoff race, sitting in a tie with Columbus, one point back of the eighth-place St. Louis Blues.

"We had an optimal start again," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. "When you take advantage of early opportunities, you put yourself in the driver's seat."

Krueger said one of the things he is most pleased with is that his team wasn't satisfied with the way they played, despite the big win over their provincial rivals.

"I thought it was good that we didn't feel good about the way we played all the way through the game today," he said. "It's a sign of the maturity of the group. The wins and losses are critical right now, but how we play and maintain this run is important. We feel confident right now and just want to keep nudging as a group."

Ryan Jones agreed that his team allowed themselves to gear down after the early lead.

"That definitely wasn't the best hockey we've played in this stretch, but we did what it took to win," he said. "Devan Dubnyk stood on his head."

Dubnyk had 33 saves for the Oilers.

Brian McGratton scored for the Flames, who saw defenseman Jay Bouwmeester traded to St. Louis shortly before the game.

"We gave them some odd-man rushes and if you get caught standing around you are going to pay," Flames center Matt Stajan said. "They caught us napping for those first two goals and we were chasing them for the rest of the night."

Stajan said the trade before the game and the one the week before that sent captain Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh were tough to take, but have to be overcome.

"That's twice in the last week that has happened and you can say all you want about it, but as players we can't make excuses," he said. "We have to come out and play with more grit. Especially against our provincial rivals."

Flames coach Bob Hartley said the trade deadline can take its toll on players when they are in the situation Calgary is in.

"This is the time of the year where there is speculation and rumors, but there are still games going on," he said.

The Flames have lost two in a row and six of its past eight games.

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