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Turek makes 24 stops in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Roman Turek's stellar goaltending

Wednesday night showed why he was the Calgary Flames' prize

offseason acquisition.

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

draft-day trade.

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

position.

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

second period when he stopped Jochen Hecht and Anson Carter with

the Oilers on the power play. The fans reacted by chanting "Roman!

Roman!" replacing the shouts of "Freddie! Freddie!" heard last

season.

"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.

Game notes

The Flames lineup featured six players not with the

organization last season -- Turek, C Rob Niedermayer, LW Craig Berube, RW Dean McAmmond, LW Scott Nichol, and D Bob Boughner.