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Flames steal Game 1
Montador's OT goal ruins strong performance
5/9/04 - by Mike Lee

The Western Conference Finals kicked off in spectacular fashion on Sunday afternoon, but the Sharks would like a mulligan on an overtime line change that would cost them Game 1. Steve Montador, a seldom used defenseman, snapped home the winning goal for Calgary 1:17 remaining in the first overtime to give the Flames a 1-0 lead in the series. San Jose left goaltender Evgeni Nabokov out to dry after failing to convert on 12 shots in the overtime against former backup Miikka Kiprusoff, allowing Montador to skate in untouched and rip a point blank shot from the slot.

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1 2 3 OT T
CGY 2 0 1 1 4
SJ 0 2 1 0 3
1st period - CGY, K. OLIWA (2) (O. SAPRYKIN, C. KOBASEW), 09:26 CGY, C. CONROY (3) (S. DONOVAN), 19:29
2nd period - S.J, M. RICCI (2) (S. THORNTON, J. CHEECHOO), 01:23 S.J, T. HARVEY (1) (W. PRIMEAU, S. HANNAN), 19:02
3rd period - CGY, C. CONROY (4) (R. WARRENER, J. LEOPOLD), 09:25 S.J, A. KOROLYUK (3) (M. RATHJE, A. MCCAULEY), 16:39
1st Overtime - CGY, S. MONTADOR (1) (J. IGINLA, S. DONOVAN), 18:43
1st period - S.J, S. THORNTON, 04:17 - Interference - Goaltender CGY, S. YELLE, 05:58 - Hi stick CGY, C. SIMON, 16:17 - Elbowing CGY, C. CLARK, 16:17 - Slashing CGY, C. SIMON, 18:34 - Roughing S.J, K. MCLAREN, 18:34 - Roughing
2nd period - CGY, M. NILSON, 20:00 - Charging
3rd period - CGY, C. CONROY (4) (R. WARRENER, J. LEOPOLD), 09:25 S.J, A. KOROLYUK (3) (M. RATHJE, A. MCCAULEY), 16:39
1st Overtime - NONE
  Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 52 49
SJ - Nabokov 37 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CGY 11 8 13 5 37
SJ 18 15 7 12 52
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Miikka Kiprusoff
Alexander Korolyuk
Craig Conroy
The Sharks now find themselves in uncharted waters, trailing in a series for the first time this post season. The position seems even more unlikely given the fact that San Jose outplayed Calgary for much of the game. Kiprusoff stole the victory by making 49 saves, including several during a two minute 5-on-3 penalty kill late in the 1st period.

The Sharks shot themselves in the foot by not converting on several opportunities, but none was bigger than a sequence in overtime when Nils Ekman had Kiprusoff dead to rights. The Sharks forward whiffed on a shot from four feet out, after Kiprusoff fell to the ice trying to defend a previous shot.

Missed chances was the theme of the afternoon for San Jose and it would catch up to them in overtime. What has to be frustrating for the Sharks is not capitalizing after overcoming two Calgary leads.

The Flames jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period when Krzystof Oliwa and Craig Conroy converted for Calgary. Oliwa poked home a rebound after the Flames converged on Nabokov in a wild flurry in front of the Sharks net. Conroy would score with 31 seconds remaining in the period to stun the sellout crowd.

Mike Ricci would end Kiprusoff's shutout streak 1:23 into the 2nd period, when he swatted home a rebound that bounced off Kiprusoff's mask. Scott Thorton, who returned to action after sitting out five of the Sharks last seven games with a leg injury, ripped a shot from the left circle that banged off Kiprusoff's mask then shot straight up in the air. Ricci was crashing the net and easily deposited the puck into Calgary's net.

Todd Harvey would tie the game with just under a minute remaining in the period when he deflected a Wayne Primeau shot past Kiprusoff. Harvey was cutting across the slot from left to right and got a stick on the puck after Primeau fired it in from the top of the right circle.

Conroy would strike again on what appeared to be a harmless shot from the point, but Nabokov was screened on the play and never saw it.

The Sharks would take advantage of a screen themselves with 3:21 left in regulation. Alexander Korolyuk threw the puck on net from just inside the right wing boards, just as Ekman was cutting in front of Kiprusoff. The puck floated over Kiprusoff's left shoulder and into the Flames net.

San Jose turned up the heat as the period came to a close and would carry that momentum into the extra frame. The Sharks would pepper Kiprusoff, would they couldn't crack him.

"It's fun to be here against the Sharks, but I don't think it makes any difference. It's the finals. That's enough." - Miikka Kiprusoff

"I think the crowd was going, and I wanted to make sure that Jarome could hear me. I just said, 'Thanks for listening.' " - Steve Montador

"We've been able to steal games while they're all over us. Kipper gave us a chance. We have a whole different kind of confidence with him back there." - Craig Conroy

"We've got more where that came from. It's disappointing to lose the game the way we did, on kind of a detail thing, a bad change. ... With 52 shots, I think we could have had 62 shots. We'll play the same way the next game, take our chances." - Sharks head coach Ron Wilson

"The bottom line is, I would bet it's easier to win the first game in this building than it would be Game 7. - Flames head coach Darryl Sutter

"I thought we carried the play most of the night. Kipper kept them in the game. ... We had a couple of mistakes, turnovers at the blue line. That's what those guys take advantage of." - Scott Hannan

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