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McDavid, Oilers make Sutter’s first (return) Flames loss a blowout

McDavid, Oilers make Sutter's first (return) Flames loss a blowout

CALGARY, AB - MARCH 17: Edmonton Oilers Center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates a goal with Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid (97) and Edmonton Oilers Right Wing Jesse Puljujarvi (13) during the first period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers on March 17, 2021, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was only a matter of time before Darryl Sutter suffered his first loss in his return as Calgary Flames head coach. And, even with that Sutter-inspired defensive focus, it was probably only a matter of time before the Flames gave up a big performance by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Apparently that matter of time boiled down to the Oilers blowing out the Flames 7-3 on Wednesday.

(Blowouts seemed to be in the air on NBCSN. Blowout day instead of “Hump Day” this week?)

Let’s take a quick look at McDavid, Draisaitl, and the Oilers handing the Flames the first loss of the Darryl Sutter sequel. (Flames - Sutter 2: Sutter Sutter-er?)

Flames lose for first time in second Sutter run; McDavid, Oilers put up numbers

Through the first three games of (the latest) Darryl Sutter era, the Flames went undefeated and allowed five goals combined. Again, Wednesday’s Oilers - Flames games ended those patterns.

Mere minutes in, you could tell it would be different. Connor McDavid helped to set up an eventual 1-0 goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Edmonton never slowed down. Leon Draisaitl generated one of the prettiest replays, though, with a simple-but-beautiful touch pass for an assist.

This marks the seventh three-point game McDavid’s generated against the Flames. Draisaitl also generated three points.

They weren’t the highest-scorers, either. Despite almost missing Wednesday’s game, Tyson Barrie piled up an impressive four assists. It remains to be seen if Barrie will make sense at a higher rate in Edmonton after this season, but he’s been a useful offensive catalyst, if nothing else.

After the Oilers were really feeling it, they pushed their lead to 7-1. The Flames would smooth out the score a bit to 7-3, but it was far too late. That said, Johnny Gaudreau got on the board; although Gaudreau isn’t a Darryl Sutter guy, the Flames need him.

Among other things, this 7-3 Oilers win over the Flames served as a reminder of how deadly Edmonton’s power play can be. McDavid, Draisaitl, Barrie & Co. went 3-for-4 on the power play in this one. It’s the third game this season where Edmonton scored at least three power-play goals. Yow.

Ultimately, this was bound to happen for Calgary. They need to brush themselves off -- and maybe be glad that they’ve already been through six games of the “Battle of Alberta.”

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.