- George Johnson, NHL
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The latest installment of the Battle of Alberta is upon us as the two teams square off twice in the next three days. Here's a look at some of the top Flames-Oilers games:
1. Game 7, Northlands Coliseum, Smythe Division semifinal, April 30, 1986
The Steve Smith "own-goal'' game. The series was decided when the rookie Oilers defenseman banked a cross-ice pass off the right leg of goalie Grant Fuhr and into his own net (Trivia tidbit: The goal was officially credited to Perry Berezan). Calgary won 3-2 to pull off a monumental upset of the defending Stanley Cup champions; 20,000 fans greet the team at the airport later that night upon their arrival home.
2. Game 7, Olympic Saddledome, Smythe Division semifinal, April 16, 1991
After trailing 3-0 in the first period, the Gretzky-less Oilers storm back to beat Calgary 4-3 on an overtime goal by super-pest Esa Tikkanen at the seven-minute mark. As a series, this was probably the most unsparing and entertaining of the five played between the rivals.
3. Game 2, Olympic Saddledome, Smythe Division final, April 21, 1988
Fresh off their first President's Trophy, the Flames were favored over the Oilers for the first time in a playoff series. Inspired by their "underdog" status, Wayne Gretzky's dramatic OT howitzer over Mike Vernon's left shoulder sent Edmonton two-up after the opening tilts in Calgary. Glen Sather "saluted" the Saddledome crowd and the Oil went on to a sweep.
4. Game 7, Northlands Coliseum, Smythe Division final, April 22, 1984
Huge underdogs, the Flames, were leading Game 7 until Mark Messier personally sent three Flames -- Mike Eaves, Paul Reinhart and Al MacInnis -- to the dressing room injured. Messier's one-man war of attrition sparks an Edmonton rally for a 7-4 win and the Oil went on to win their first Stanley Cup championship.
5. Game 6, Northlands Coliseum, Smythe Division semifinals, April 14, 1991
Drama personified, when Theo Fleury intercepted a Messier pass and waltzed in to slip the puck between Grant Fuhr's pads at 4:40 of overtime, sending the series back to Calgary for Game 7. The image of Fleury on his knees, sailing across the ice in celebration before rolling over and tumbling into the boards to be smothered by his teammates, has become an iconic moment in Canadian hockey lore.
6. Game 3, Olympic Saddledome, Smythe Division final, April 17, 1983
Wayne Gretzky establishes an NHL record with seven points in one playoff game (four goals, three assists. The Oilers won, 10-2.
7. Game 4, Olympic Saddledome, Smythe Division final, April 24, 1986
The Oilers set a club record for penalties in one playoff game (29) with 20 minors, four majors, four misconducts and one game misconduct. Edmonton still won the game, 7-4.
8. The jersey incident
The night in Calgary that Oilers tough guy Marty McSorley and pepper-pot Doug Risebrough of the Flames fought, and then Risebrough lugged McSorley's sweater into the penalty box and proceeded to theatrically cut it up with his skates. "That incident,'' Risebrough would later say, "was just a guy losing a decision in front of a large group of fans and trying in some minor way to make it an event". Afterward in the Oilers' dressing room, coach Glen Sather had hung the tattered jersey up and was in mock-seriousness demanding the Flames pay for the damaged garment.
9. Pengrowth Saddledome, Jan. 19, 2003
A game remembered for Oilers coach Craig MacTavish pulling the tongue out of Flames' mascot Harvey the Hound, and tossing it into the stands after the 6-foot-6 dog refused to quit heckling him. Calgary led 4-0 at the time. "I'm taking auditions for a mascot the next time they come up to Edmonton,'' MacTavish said. "And I'm going to get a ladder so he can stand behind their bench. And I hope it's 4-0 for us.''
10. Olympic Saddledome, Feb. 25, 1990
Flames right winger Sergei Makarov, longtime star of the Soviet Union's legendary KLM line, established a franchise record by shredding the Oilers for seven points (two goals and five assists).
George Johnson of the Calgary Herald is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.
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