CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Roman Turek's stellar goaltending
Wednesday night showed why he was the Calgary Flames' prize
Turek made 24 saves in his debut and Marc Savard scored the only
goal as the Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 in the NHL season
opener for both teams.
"It's an unbelievable feeling for a goalie when you win a game
1-0," said Turek, who was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in a
Savard broke through at 6:13 of the third period. Derek Morris's
slap shot from the blue line deflected off the foot of a sliding
Mike Grier and caromed across the slot to Savard, who had an empty
net to fire the puck into with goaltender Tommy Salo trapped out of
Popular goaltender Fred Brathwaite was part of the three-player
package shipped to St. Louis in exchange for Turek, but the Czech
wasted no time replacing "Freddie" in the hearts of the 16,242
fans in attendance.
The 31-year-old Turek looked especially sharp midway through the
the Oilers on the power play. The fans reacted by chanting "Roman!
Roman!" replacing the shouts of "Freddie! Freddie!" heard last
"He made numerous big saves for us tonight, especially on
penalty-killing situations," Flames coach Greg Gilbert said. "He
was stoning guys, doing a great job of controlling his rebounds and
moving from side to side."
It was Turek's 16th career shutout.
"We had lots of opportunities to score but we just didn't get
the bounce, they got the bounce," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish
said. "Roman's a big guy and he played a terrific game in there."
Savard's goal came just five seconds after a goaltender
interference penalty to Ryan Smyth had expired. Smyth's penalty
ended a stretch of four consecutive minor penalties to Calgary that
had given the Oilers a power-play for nearly six straight minutes,
capped by a 23-second two-man advantage.
The Oilers finished 0-for-9 with the man advantage as they
opened a season for the first time in nine years without former
captain and perennial leading scorer Doug Weight, traded during the
offseason to the Blues.
"We had some bad breaks here and there, but we're not going to
dwell on it," Smyth said. "It's only the first game, we're not
going to let it worry us."
The game got off to a feisty beginning, not surprising
considering the two provincial rivals had already played each other
three times during the preseason.
The rough stuff settled down in the second period as the teams
settled into a close-checking game.
The Flames lineup featured six players not with the