EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames still have a ways to go to turn around this season. They are starting to show signs they could do it.
Mark Giordano's second-period goal stood up as the winner as the Flames extended their winning streak to a season-best four games with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Tim Jackman also scored for the Flames (18-18-3), who lost three straight before their spurt. Miikka Kiprusoff had a relatively easy night, making 16 saves.
``We put ourselves in a big hole, but we are climbing up now,' Flames forward Olli Jokinen said. ``We are finally at .500. It has been a couple months since we could say that.'
Flames captain Jarome Iginla believes his club has turned a corner.
``It feels like we have been playing a lot better hockey of late,' he said. ``We're not there yet, and there is a lot of work to do, but it feels good. Everybody is finding ways to contribute. Different nights it is different guys, and that's what winning teams do.'
Ryan Jones had the only goal for the Oilers (12-18-7), who have lost six in a row and eight of nine. Nikolai Khabibulin took the loss, despite a 28-save effort.
Edmonton coach Tom Renney said there weren't enough players carrying their share of the load.
``Some of it was done by the people that need to,' he said, ``but others didn't make it to the rink. We need these people desperately if we are going to have any kind of success. I'm hoping they understand who they are.
``We just couldn't conjure up the proper connection to the game - emotionally and physically.'
Calgary controlled the early stages of the game, outshooting Edmonton 11-1 at the midpoint of the first period. The Flames were rewarded with seven minutes left as David Moss made a nice pass to give Jackman the puck alone in front. Jackman made a deft move to slip it past Khabibulin.
Edmonton was dominated in the shot department as Calgary recorded 19 shots while the Oilers mustered only three. The last one was dangerous, however, as Kiprusoff was forced to stop Taylor Hall on a breakaway.
``It's not just about shots,' Oilers forward Sam Gagner said. ``We want to play in their end, not in our end. What happened tonight said that we were not really ready to play physical.'
The news didn't get any better for Edmonton to start the second period. Promising rookie Jordan Eberle left the game limping because of a left ankle injury and didn't return.
The Oilers tied it 1-1 midway through the second when Tom Gilbert slipped a backhanded pass to Jones, who beat Kiprusoff with a quick shot to the glove side for his career-high ninth goal.
The Flames regained the lead five minutes later when a hard shot from the point by Giordano caromed in off Oilers forward Dustin Penner. Calgary held a 26-8 shots advantage through two periods.
Edmonton came close to tying the game again eight minutes into the third when Andrew Cogliano's shot got past Kiprusoff, but the veteran goalie dived back and kept the puck from dribbling in.
The Oilers had a good opportunity with a late power play but still couldn't get even.
NOTES: It was the fourth meeting of the season between the teams. Edmonton won once, and Calgary posted two victories. Those games were all played in October. ... With defensemen Ryan Whitney and Jim Vandermeer out of the lineup, the Oilers called up Shawn Belle for Oklahoma City of the AHL. LW Linus Omark was sent down. ... Edmonton rookie LW Magnus Paajarvi sat out for the first time this season. ... Calgary D Steve Staios is still out because of cracked ribs. ... Kiprusoff was 7-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average in his previous eight games against the Oilers. Khabibulin had a 23-8-4 mark against the Flames with a 2.26 GAA before Saturday.
The Associated Press News Service
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