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Sykora tallies two goals as Oilers snuff out Flames

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Petr Sykora made a great first
impression with his new team.

The forward scored his first two goals with Edmonton and Dwayne
Roloson turned aside 31 shots to lead the Oilers to a 3-1 victory
over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night in the teams' season
opener.

"The game went well. You want to get that first win and release
that pressure," said Sykora, who was signed in the offseason as an
unrestricted free agent.

Defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist also scored for Edmonton, the
defending Western Conference champions, while Ales Hemsky, Sykora's
linemate, added two assists.

Jarome Iginla had Calgary's goal in a penalty-filled game.

The teams play again in Calgary on Saturday night.

It was the 29th time Sykora scored twice in a game in his
10-season career. He has yet to get a hat trick.

Sykora credited Hemsky for the successful debut.

"He's not afraid to beat the guys one-on-one. He loves to skate
with the puck. He always creates odd-man situations," Sykora said.
"He's a modern hockey player."

Miikka Kiprusoff made 19 saves for Calgary.

The Flames went 0-for-9 on the power play and that, said Iginla,
told the tale.

"We had the chances. On the power play we've got to be
better," he said.

Sykora opened the scoring with about five minutes to go in the
opening period, converting a rebound of a shot by Hemsky.

He scored the eventual game-winner three minutes later with the
Oilers on a 5-on-3 advantage, taking a pass from Jarret Stoll in
the high slot and one-timing a low slap shot past Kiprusoff.

Iginla was taken down on a breakaway by defenseman Marc-Andre
Bergeron and awarded a penalty shot in the first period.

On the shot, Calgary's captain tried a backhand deke but Roloson
stayed with him laterally across the crease for the pad save.

Iginla said the ice was good so he came in at a wide angle to
Roloson's left.

"He made a good save. He made a stretch-out," he said.

Roloson said he and Iginla know each other's moves well.

"I was trying to stay with him and I was lucky enough to get a
piece of it," Roloson said.

Tjarnqvist sealed the win midway through the third period on an
assist from Hemsky.

Iginla broke Roloson's shutout with just over five minutes left
in the game with a snap shot from close in after taking a cross-ice
pass from Daymond Langkow.

Sykora, normally a right wing, has been shifted to second-line
center between Hemksy and Raffi Torres. Sykora signed in the
offseason with the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent after
splitting last season with the New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks.

Game notes
Before the game, the Oilers raised their 2005-06 conference
championship banner. ... The Oilers are 14-9-4 on opening night
while Calgary is 11-13-10 ... Oilers F Ryan Smyth didn't practice
Wednesday due to a strained neck but took a regular shift Thursday.