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Posted: Jun 30, 2012 2:48:07 am

EDMONTON -- Curtis Glencross is making a strong bid for a top-six forward position with the Calgary Flames. Matthew Stafford Elite Jersey . The 26-year-old Albertan scored twice as the Flames defeated the rival Edmonton Oilers 5-3 in NHL exhibition action Wednesday night. Glencross and Olli Jokinen are tied for the Flames pre-season lead with seven points each. "Im trying to take the next step as a player," he said. "A top-six position is where I want to be. Ill take it one game at a time. If it is there, it is there. If it is not, its not. I just have to go out there and show what I can do." Glencross, who left the Oilers to sign as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2008-2009 season, says it still means something to have a big game against his old club. "Its always nice coming back and showing something to a team that didnt want me," he said. "To come out and play pretty decently every time against them is rewarding." Jarome Iginla, Jason Jaffray and Fredrik Sjostrom also scored for the Flames, who improved to 3-2-1 in pre-season play. Theo Fleury had one assist for the Flames as he continues his bid to try and land a spot on his old team after a six-year absence from the NHL. "Things are going just as expected," the 41-year-old Fleury said. "Im just trying to get better every day. I think I have accomplished that so far. Im just trying to play within the way the coaches want us to play." Dustin Penner, J.F. Jacques and Mike Comrie responded for the Oilers, who have lost three in a row to drop to 3-3 in exhibition play. Oilers head coach Pat Quinn reserved much of his praise for a pair of his bigger players, particularly Penner and Jacques. "The two big guys on the left, they played pretty well," he said. "They were both something to contend with. They were the heavy part of the game. We are still light in some areas and dont win those loose pucks too much. Weve got to get better there." Calgary got off to a quick start, opening the scoring just 1:34 into the first period. Edmonton starting netminder Nikolai Khabibulin lost the handle trying to stop a puck behind the net and Glencross fished it out and fired it into the empty net. Edmonton responded just three minutes later as a shot by Jason Strudwick caromed off the boards and right to Penner battling in front of the net for his second of the pre-season. The Oilers took a 2-1 lead just shy of midway through the first. Jacques -- playing on the first line with Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff -- continued to make a claim on a regular roster spot, taking a feed from Tom Gilbert and sending a hard shot from in tight on Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff that somehow slipped past him. Calgary evened the game up again two minutes later on a two-man advantage, as Iginla snapped a shot from the side of the net that beat Khabibulin between the legs. The Oilers finally ended up getting a power-play early in the second but it ended up working against them as Glencross picked the puck away from Denis Grebeshkov at the point and blazed up ice to beat Khabibulin high to the glove-side, his fourth goal and seventh point of the pre-season. Calgary gave itself a two-goal cushion with 7:30 to play in the second as Brandon Prust sent a puck out front and Jaffray jammed a puck in from in tight. Edmonton cut into that lead with seven minutes remaining as Penner dug the puck out of a scramble and passed it to Comrie, who scored his first of the pre-season to go along with seven assists. The Flames restored their two-goal advantage less than a minute later as a shot by Sjostrom deflected off an Oiler defender and had replacement goalie Jeff Deslauriers going the wrong way. The Oilers have two pre-season matches left, including a game in Winnipeg on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Calgary wraps up exhibition play at home on Saturday against Vancouver. Notes: The Oilers won the other pre-season showdown between the teams, 4-1 in Calgary Edmonton is down to 33 players in camp while Calgary has pared its lineup down to 32 The Oilers dressed five of their top six defencemen with only Steve Staios sitting out Edmonton forward Fernando Pisani was also absent, believed to be nursing a groin injury after leaving practice early on Tuesday Calgary also dressed a largely veteran lineup with Craig Conroy the most notable absence after leaving with a groin problem in Mondays game in Vancouver The teams face off three times in October. Alex Smith Jersey .Y. -- After the Buffalo Sabres spent much of the past month talking about needing to snap out of their extended funk, Drew Stafford did something about it. Julio Jones Elite Jersey . -- A chronic back injury has forced Hamilton Tiger-Cats safety Dylan Barker to retire. Brian Orakpo Jersey . After the Senators got through a game without receiving so much as a single power-play opportunity for the third time this year, Clouston was left wondering why his team cant seem to get some calls from the NHLs referees. Tony Gonzalez Jersey . Los Angeles is back in the NLCS for the eighth time in team history, but this is its first time back since its classic seven-game win over the New York Mets en route to its last world championship in 1988. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is in this round for the seventh time, but is making its first trip since 1993 when it topped Atlanta in six games. Randy Moss Womens Jersey . Dan Hamhuis (un but et une aide) et Joel Ward ont également marqué pour les Predators, qui avaient vu leur séquence de victoires sarrêter à sept vendredi. Dumont a porté la marque à 2-1 dès la deuxième minute de jeu de la troisième période. WASHINGTON -- It makes perfect sense that the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are heading to a Game 7. In many ways, these teams are mirror images of each other. Neither scores much. Neither allows opponents to, either. They play every game close. And no matter how seemingly devastating a defeat, in overtime or otherwise, the Capitals -- from two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin to playoff rookie goalie Braden Holtby -- simply do not allow setbacks to bother them. They regroup, get back out there and follow every loss with a victory. Ovechkin rebounded from a rare zero-shot performance by scoring after 88 seconds Wednesday night, Holtby made 30 saves, and the Capitals recovered the way they always seem to, beating the top-seeded Rangers 2-1 to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal series at three games apiece. "Were resilient," Washington defenceman Karl Alzner said. "We have that thick skin. We know when to battle back when we need to and have to." Never moreso than after Game 5 on Monday night, when seventh-seeded Washington managed to blow a lead in the last 10 seconds of regulation. New York scored a power-play goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third period to tie it, and another 1 1/2 minutes into overtime to win it. The Capitals could have folded. Instead, they staved off elimination, and the teams will meet in New York on Saturday night to determine who will face the New Jersey Devils in the conference finals. Washington hasnt been that far since 1998; the Rangers havent since 1997. "Thats what we play for all year: home-ice advantage," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. "And I think home-ice advantage helps when its that Game 7. We have to go in there, be ready to go, feed off the crowd and get a win." New Yorks first-round series against Ottawa went seven games. So did Washingtons opening series against Boston, last seasons Stanley Cup champion. Now theyll both do it again. "Its where we want to be," Holtby said. "We didnt expect a short series." He improved to 6-0 in games immediately after losses this post-season. Thats why the Capitals are 4-0 in games that follow overtime losses in the playoffs. One other bit of proof that they know how to bounce back: They havent lost consecutive games since March 22-23. "This is the way we are," said Jason Chimera, who scored in the second period to give Washington its second two-goal lead of the series. "We dont really crack." They cant afford to: Twelve of the Capitals 13 playoff games were decided by one goal. Ovechkins reduced role became a major talking point throughout these playoffs: Usually a 20-minute-a-game guy, he played as few as 13 1/2 minutes in Game 2 against New York. He also came up quiet in Game 5, with no shots on goal, only the second time in 49 career playoff games that had happened to the man they call Alex the Great. But about 1 1/2 minutes after the opening faceoff Wednesday, Ovechkin powered a slap shot inside the right post from about 30 feet in front of goaliie Henrik Lundqvist. Brandon Marshall Elite Jersey. Ovechkins 30th career playoff goal, tying the franchise record held by Peter Bondra, came 15 seconds after Rangers defenceman Anton Stralman was sent to the penalty box for tripping Chimera. Another miscue followed: Defenceman Ryan McDonagh wasted a chance to clear the puck, instead sending it along the boards right to a Capitals player. That giveaway led to a series of crisp passes by the Capitals -- and an animated earful for McDonagh from Rangers coach John Tortorella after Ovechkin scored. That early edge proved to be a good omen for the Capitals, who are 7-1 this post-season when scoring first -- and 0-5 when their opponent scores first. In this series, all six games were won by whichever team led 1-0. "We talked about coming out and starting well, and they get a goal right away on the power play. It kind of set the tone for the game," Lundqvist said. "From there, it was just hard for us to get going." Later, Ovechkin nearly scored one of his YouTube-ready, "How did he do that?" goals, somehow managing to lift the puck past Lundqvist while belly flopping onto the ice. But the puck hit the crossbar. Then, at the opposite end of the rink, Ovechkin used his back to block a shot -- the sort of thing the Russian wing is not known for, but his teammates have turned into an art form. The Capitals rank No. 1 in blocked shots during the playoffs -- the Rangers are No. 2 -- and Washington put together a 24-6 edge Wednesday. Ovechkin contributed three blocks. "He had a lot of energy," Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. "Hes ready to go when hes called upon, and he played a good game tonight." A little more than a minute after Chimera made it 2-0, the Rangers got a good opportunity when Capitals forward Jeff Halpern -- playing for the first time in more than six weeks -- was called for high-sticking John Mitchell, a 4-minute double minor. That was the same penalty called on Washingtons Joel Ward in the final 30 seconds of regulation in Game 5, while the Capitals nursed a 2-1 lead. And, well, we know how that turned out. This time, though, the Capitals penalty killers were up to the task, allowing the Rangers only three shots and no goals. When Halpern skated out of the box, the lead intact, the red-clad Capitals fans gave their team a standing ovation. "It kills you," Tortorella said. There was one final moment of trepidation for the Capitals and their supporters. With his mom covering her eyes in the stands, Holtby gave up a goal with 50.5 seconds left -- a score credited to Rangers forward Marian Gaborik, whose shot deflected off Capitals forward Matt Hendricks skate and defenceman John Carlsons hip in the crease. Said Ward: "You kind of think, Oh, no. Not again! But were a confident group." NOTES: Game 7 starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT. ... Capitals F Jay Beagle was scratched because of what the team said was a lower-body injury and replaced by Halpern, who hadnt played since March 23. ' ' '

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