The two teams were tied 1-1 entering the third period when the Oilers finally broke the deadlock with just over six minutes remaining. Flames starter Miikka Kiprusoff allowed a big rebound on an Ales Hemsky shot and Sykora was there to deposit his second of the game and 11th of the season.
Calgary had a glorious chance to tie the game in the final minute and a half as Steve Staios took a delay of game penalty but the Oilers penalty killers proved up to the task and preserved the win.
The Oilers are on a four-game winning streak, improving to 12-8-1 on the year. They are also 9-2 at home. The Flames had a six-game winning streak snapped and are now 9-8-2 on the season.
Calgary started the scoring as they caught an early break on an Oiler defensive breakdown, leading to a 1-0 Flames lead. Oilers starter Dwayne Roloson looked about to smother an innocent shot when defenceman Daniel Tjarnqvist dug the puck away from his goalie’s grasp only to lose it at the side of the net. Chuck Kobasew quickly picked it up and sent a pass to Kristian Huselius, who deposited his seventh of the season into a wide open net.
But the Oilers were able to erase that mistake on the power play with just 31 seconds remaining in the first. Sykora blasted a slapshot from the top of the circle past Kiprusoff just one second after Calgary had managed to kill the first portion of a two-man advantage.
The game remained knotted through a scoreless second period. The Flames had the best opportunity on the power play with just over two minutes left but Roloson kept it even when he dove forward out of his cage to make a point-blank glove save on Calgary captain Jarome Iginla.
Calgary returns home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. The Hawks will then travel to Edmonton on Friday as the Oilers play the fourth game of a long seven game homestand.
Notes: The match was the third Battle of Alberta this season. The Oilers won the first meeting 3-1 in their home opener at Rexall Place, also the season opening game for both teams. Two nights later, the Flames won their home opener against the Oilers, 2-1… Oilers defenceman Staios signed a four year contract extension with the club on Tuesday that will run through the 2010-11 season. The 33-year-old defenceman signed as a free agent with Edmonton in July of 2001. Sykora has had a lot of success against the Flames over his career. In 20 career games, he now has 13 goals and 22 points.