CALGARY â€” In an up and down season, Jordan Eberle is producing goals again.
Eberle scored twice and added two assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames 7-3 on Saturday to sweep the four-game season series for the first time.
The 26-year-old forward has three goals and six points in the last four games. That comes on the heels of an 18-game goalless stretch in which he was limited to five assists.
“That’s how it works. You go through hot and cold streaks,” said Eberle, who has 11 goals and 32 points on the season. “This was one of the colder streaks I’ve ever been on. It was frustrating. Once the puck goes in it starts to go in.”
Anton Slepyshev, Mark Letestu, Oscar Klefbom, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for Edmonton (26-15-8). The streaking Oilers are 5-0-1 in their last six and have moved within one point of the Pacific-leading Anaheim Ducks.
Sean Monahan, extending his goal-scoring streak to five games, Matthew Tkachuk and Lance Bouma replied for Calgary (24-22-3). The Flames open up a three-game Eastern Canada road trip on Monday in Toronto.
Thirty-six seconds after Letestu made it 2-0, Eberle made it a three-goal lead at 5:58 of the first period when he took advantage of a poor defensive play by Jyrki Jokipakka. The Flames defenceman abandoned Eberle on a 2-on-1 rush, leaving him with a clear path to the net.
“I actually have no explanation for what our (defencemen) were doing. It was a complete mistake,” said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan about the goal.
At that point, Brian Elliott was brought in for Chad Johnson, who allowed three goals on four shots.
“The biggest thing was we started well. We capitalized on our chances early and got them behind the eight-ball,” Eberle said.
Edmonton kept pouring it on in the second.
After McDavid’s power-play goal at 3:57, Eberle scored again at 12:24, making it 5-0 when he was left open in the slot to deflect in Matt Benning’s pass.
“It’s embarrassing,” said Gulutzan. “I don’t talk to the guys after the game, win or lose, I talk to them the next day, but certainly in the coaches’ room, emotions are high.”
In his seventh career start but first of this season, 23-year-old Laurent Brossoit made 38 saves for his first career win.
“It’s a great feeling, especially with how last year went down with my call-up. It’s nice to contribute in a positive way,” said Brossoit, who was a Flames sixth-round draft pick in 2011.
Oilers coach Todd McLellan hopes the rookie’s outing will be a sign of things to come.
“In our organization he’s played some tremendous games and hasn’t been able to put a win on the board. So, we’re really happy for him,” said McLellan. “I’m sure this will do wonders for his confidence.”
Brossoit was part of the November 2013 trade in which Calgary acquired defenceman Ladislav Smid.
Elliott made 23 saves in relief, getting tagged with the loss to fall to 8-11-2.
Slow starts have been a trend for Calgary lately and that chronic issue continued as the Flames yielded the opening goal for a seventh straight game.
“It starts with the older guys, the leaders in this room,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano. “That’s a bunch of games in a row now where we’ve fallen behind and haven’t been able to get any push-back and in our rink, it’s unacceptable.”
Tkachuk’s deflection on a power play at 15:55 of the second finally got Calgary on the scoreboard, but Edmonton answered back with Klefbom’s power-play goal 58 seconds later.
Notes: Monahan’s goal streak ties him for the second-longest in the NHL this season. Nashville’s James Neal had a six-game goal streak in November… Fourteen penalty minutes for Tkachuk gives the Flames rookie 90 on the season. That’s second to Dallas’ Antoine Roussel (98)… Johnson has given up seven goals on 25 shots in his last two starts.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press