Oilers aim to continue push with home-and-home sweep of Flames

The Edmonton Oilers continued their push for a playoff spot with Monday's win over the Calgary.

Shortly before the contest, the Flames continued to look to the future by trading defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

The Oilers try to win a fifth straight game on Wednesday in the finale of a home-and-home set with the hosting Flames.

Edmonton won the opener of this set on Monday 4-1 behind another fast start. It scored three goals in the opening period one game after getting all four of its tallies in a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in the game's first 7:53.

Taylor Hall, who had a hat trick in Saturday's win over Vancouver, scored in the opening period, as did Justin Schultz and Ryan Jones. Hall and Jones also had an assist, while Schultz notched two helpers.

Rookie Nail Yakupov scored in the third period, his first goal in 17 games, and Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for the Oilers, who were outshot 17-3 in the third period and 34-20 in the game.

"In the end, we'll take the two points. That's the key in the end," said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. "Overall, maybe it was the early start again that just let our guard down a touch. We need to be much better in Calgary. I thought that they really took it to us in certain portions of the game."

The Oilers completed a perfect three-game homestand with a fourth straight victory, their longest winning streak since taking six in a row from Oct. 22- Nov. 3, 2011.

Edmonton, which has not made the playoffs since a run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006, is tied for 10th in the Western Conference with the Columbus Blue Jackets, a point back of the eighth-place St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators.

It was the Blues who acquired Bouwmeester from the Flames before Monday's game for a pair of prospects and a conditional first-round pick. Calgary made that deal just five days after trading former captain and the franchise's all-time leading scorer Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins for prospects and a first-round pick.

Bouwmeester, 29, is a two-time All-Star who has scored six goals to go along with nine assists in 33 games this year. He never topped 29 points in his three-plus seasons with the Flames after posting at least 37 in four straight seasons with the Florida Panthers.

The Flames return home after dropping a team-record 11th straight road game on Monday. They avoided getting shut out when Brian McGrattan scored with 1:32 to play and lost for the sixth time in eight games overall.

Miikka Kiprusoff was yanked late in the first period after giving up three goals on six shots, while Joey MacDonald posted 13 saves the rest of the way.

"I felt that we came out good ... but a couple of misreads in our zone and the puck was in our net," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said.

Calgary, eight points back of a playoff spot, will play another three straight on the road after hosting Edmonton.

The Flames have won 11 of 12 and 12 of their past 15 at home versus the Oilers. Edmonton has won three of the past four meetings overall, but Monday's win was only the club's fourth in the last 21 encounters.