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, Alberta (AP) After challenging his team to be better, Mike Smith went out and led by example.Smith made 28 saves for his fourth shutout this season, Johnny Gaudreau scored in the second period and the Calgary Flames edged the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 on Tuesday night to end a seven-game losing streak against their provincial rival.”Smitty is a real fiery, competitive guy and we wanted a different mindset coming in,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. ”If you’re a guy like him and you’re competitive, you’re going to say things and you want things, and it’s going to be good for our group that he’s backing them up.”Calgary (35-26-10) is two points behind Dallas and Colorado, who occupy the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference. The Flames are also two points back of Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division.After practice on Monday with the team reeling from Sunday’s 5-2 setback to the New York Islanders, Smith was vocal about how everyone needed to step it up.”It starts with your play on the ice. It’s hard to talk in the room and to (the media) when you don’t go out there and do your job,” Smith said. ”It starts with yourself, taking care of what you can control.”Calgary’s commitment to preserving a one-goal lead was especially evident in the final minute. With the Oilers on a power play and goaltender Cam Talbot pulled to make it a 6-on-4 Brett Howden Jersey Womens
, Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan and Michael Frolik all blocked shots.”To see guys lying down, blocking shots, guys getting over the red or the blue and dumping pucks in. We had a one-goal lead and we were riding our goalie and we felt that we didn’t need to win the game 5-0,” Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic said. ”We know that come playoff games, this is how you win games. Close scores like this.”It was a superb bounce-back performance for Smith in his second game after missing a month with a lower-body injury. He was beaten four times on 26 shots Sunday against the Islanders.”He’s a very vocal guy on our team and he’s one of our leaders and sometimes when you put yourself out there and say those things, you know you’re going to follow it up with a good game yourself and everyone’s going to follow suit,” Hamonic said.Talbot made 31 saves as Edmonton (30-35-4) had its three-game winning streak snapped.”After last game they weren’t too happy with their performance, so we knew we were going to get their best tonight,” Talbot said. ”We knew we were going to get a desperate team that needs every point possible.”The most dangerous Oilers player all night was Connor McDavid, who entered on a seven-game point streak (six goals Paul Carey Jersey Womens
, seven assists) and with 18 goals in his last 19 games. But despite a team-high five shots and several other setups, McDavid could not solve Smith.Early in the third, Smith acrobatically kicked out his pad to rob Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a one-timer after he was set up perfectly by McDavid. On that same shift, McDavid swooped in alone on Smith, only to be denied by the 35-year-old goalie.Smith also made a highlight-reel stop late in the second to preserve the one-goal margin, getting his arm on a shot from Ryan Strome after a bad bounce resulted in the Edmonton center having the puck alone in front.”We’d like to score some goals, but we created chances. Even at the end with the goaltender pulled, we had some good looks at the net,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. ”Not overly disappointed in the effort. I’m disappointed in the outcome.”Calgary scored at 5:18 of the second when Sean Monahan’s pass found Gaudreau alone in front and he zipped a backhand over Talbot’s shoulder.Gaudreau’s 22nd goal of the season extended his point streak to five games (two goals, five assists).NOTES: Calgary made two lineup changes at forward, with Drew Shore and Chris Stewart inserted for Matthew Tkachuk (upper body) and Mark Jankowski (coach’s decision). … Kris Versteeg (hip) missed his 49th game for the Flames but is nearing a return and could play as soon as Friday. … Ex-Flame Mike Cammalleri Chris Tierney Jersey Womens
, who played in career game No. 900, has gone 30 games without a goal.UP NEXTOilers: Host the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.Flames: Host the Sharks on Friday night.— WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin heard Capitals fans chanting, “We want 50!” after scoring his 49th goal of the season.“Next game,” Ovechkin said.The next game could bring milestones for Ovechkin and Washington, which beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 Tuesday night to move to the verge of clinching a playoff berth. The defending Stanley Cup champions are a victory away from their 11th playoff appearance in the last 12 seasons.“That’s why we play 82 games, to clinch the playoffs,” Ovechkin said after adding to his NHL-leading goal total. “Both teams understand we need the points. I don’t know how the different teams played, I didn’t look at that, but that was important.”The Capitals beating the Hurricanes in regulation and results elsewhere made it a great night for Washington and a bad one for Carolina. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ defeat of the New York Islanders allowed the Capitals to extend their lead atop the Metropolitan Division to three points, and that, coupled with the Montreal Canadiens’ victory over the Florida Panthers Tyson Barrie Jersey
, allowed those teams to gain ground on the Hurricanes.“You can’t look for help,” Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said. “That’s not the way you do it.You take care of your own business and if someone loses, great. But you go into everything assuming you need to win because every other team is going to win, too.”Looking for their fourth consecutive division title, the Capitals again came away with two points when there was a chance they’d fall into second place.“We don’t care too much about the standings,” said goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 27 saves. “We’re focused on trying to win a game, so we’re not letting anything get in our head, saying we must win this or that or whatever.”Ovechkin’s go-ahead goal 4:31 into the third period put him one away from joining Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players in league history with 50 in eight different seasons. With his 656th career goal, the Russian superstar tied Brendan Shanahan for 13th on the all-time list, but has to wait for No. 50 this season.“It would be nice to get it Matt Martin Jersey Womens
,” Ovechkin said. “But we still have five games. I have lots of chances to score tonight, but finally I get one because I think last couple games I didn’t use my chances. It was important goal and I’m happy with the win.”Countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on goals by T.J. Oshie, Ovechkin and John Carlson to give him three on his bobblehead night. Nicklas Backstrom added an empty-netter as Washington won its second consecutive game.“I wish every player on the team have a night like that,” Kuznetsov said. “Bobblehead is special. Of course, when your organization does something for you and fans cheering for you, you want to give them back something. The best thing we give them the win.”The Hurricanes had their two-game winning streak snapped despite 24 saves from Petr Mrazek and a goal by Dougie Hamilton during a delayed penalty. Carolina still leads Montreal and Columbus in the race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but a flat effort Tuesday didn’t help.“They were good. We were not,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Put those two together, and we really had no chance in that game. That’s what it felt like the whole way.”NOTES: Oshie’s goal was his 23rd of the season. … Hamilton scored his second goal in four games. … Capitals D Michal Kempny missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury that could sideline him for the remainder of the season.UP NEXTThe Capitals open a three-game road trip when they visit the Hurricanes on Thursday in the second half of the teams’ home-and-home series.