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The Edmonton Oilers looked every bit the NHL defending Western Conference champions on Thursday.

Petr Sykora had two goals and one assist in his Edmonton debut and Dwayne Roloson turned aside 31 shots as the Oilers toppled the visiting Calgary Flames 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 16,839 at Rexall Place.

Petr Sykora, centre, and Jarret Stoll celebrate a goal on Thursday.
Petr Sykora, centre, and Jarret Stoll celebrate a goal on Thursday.
(John Ulan/Canadian Press)

"The game went well," Sykora said. "You want to get that first win and release that pressure."

Daniel Tjarnqvist scored the other goal for the Oilers.

Ales Hemsky had two assists.

Jarome Iginla replied in the third period for the Flames, but was foiled by Roloson on a first-period penalty shot.

"We had the chances," Iginla said.

Iginla was awarded the penalty shot 14:13 into the contest when hauled down by Marc-Andre Bergeron on a breakaway.

On the penalty shot, Iginla failed to beat the agile Roloson on a backhand deke.

"I was trying to stay with him and I was lucky enough to get a piece of [the puck]," Roloson said.

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

Sykora opened the scoring 30 seconds later, swooping in front to pot a Hemsky rebound for his first goal as an Oiler.

Sykora, who has 20-plus goals in seven straight seasons, signed Aug. 11 with Edmonton after splitting last season between the Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers.

The Czech veteran made it 2-0 with 2:11 left in the period, taking a pass from Jarret Stoll and beating Miikka Kiprusoff with a slow slapshot.

"He is not afraid to beat the guys 1-on-1," Hemsky said of Sykora.

"He loves to skate with the puck, always creates odd-man situations. He is a modern hockey player."

Following a scoreless second period, Tjarnqvist put the Oilers ahead 3-0 on a rising wrist shot 10:35 into the third.

Iginla completed the scoring with 5:35 remaining, collecting a cross-ice pass from Daymond Langkow and snapping a shot behind Roloson to spoil the shutout bid.

Kiprusoff counted 19 saves in defeat.

Edmonton's conference championship banner was raised to rafters prior to the game, but the Oilers themselves stayed in the dressing room.

Oilers win the first battle

guys u gotto agree with me. oilers first line didnt look impressive whereas 2nd line was just awesome. hemsky-sykora-torres!

and also 5 forwards on pp

good stops by roloson... also penalty shot save!:)
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