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Sharks stay hot against Flames
51st won of the season sets new points mark
4/5/07 - by Mike Lee

If you throw the puck at the net enough, it's bound to go in sooner or later. That's what the Sharks and Flames did in a wild one at the Tank on Thursday night. San Jose took a 4-1 lead in the 3rd period with a pair of goals, then held on to win 4-3 before a packed HP Pavilion. The Sharks inched to within a single point of the Anaheim Ducks for the top spot in the Pacific Division with the victory.

San Jose put 42 shots on Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff in the win. Four different Sharks scored, including Jonathan Cheechoo, who netted the game winner with his 36th of the season.

Joe Thornton had two assists, giving him 90 for the season. Thornton becomes only the 3rd player in NHL history to notch back-to-back seasons with 90 or more assists. He got his first assist of the night on Milan Michalek 25th of the season to open the game's scoring 8 minutes into the 2nd period.

Thornton threw the puck at Matt Carle, who had pinched in on the rush and parked himself in front of the Flames net. Michalek followed up and cashed in on the rebound for the 1-0 Sharks lead. The goal 4-on-4 after Ryane Clowe and Dion Phaneuf were sent off for separate penalties on a strange exchange.

Clowe thought he had engaged Phaneuf in a fight at center ice, dropping his gloves to start the parry. Phaneuf though better of it and skated off. Clowe circled back to pick up his gloves and stick before landing a check on the Flames defenseman. Phaneuf tried to return the hit with a late check along the boards, but Clowe got an elbow up as Phenuef arrived.

Mark Bell would his 11th of the season less than 2 minutes later on a similar play. Bell scooped up a loose puck in the slot after Joe Pavelski tried jamming home a shot from in tight. Kiprusoff was caught out of position while dealing with Pavelski.

Kristian Huselius cut the Sharks lead in half with a power play goal 48 seconds later after the Flames called a timeout to regroup. Patrick Marleau gave the Flames the man advantage after a boarding penalty sent him off midway through the period.

Mike Grier would pad the Sharks lead at 3-1 early in the 3rd period with a rocket from the top of the right circle that caught the opposite post for his 16th goal of the season.

Cheechoo would add his tally 3 minutes later to give the Sharks some breathing room. The Sharks sniper took a feed from Thornton near the right dot, then skated toward the goal line before uncorking a shot from a bad angle. Kiprusoff was pinched up against the near post, but Cheechoo's shot squeezed through.

The Sharks were content with killing clock to round out the period, but Jerome Iginla had other ideas. The Flames captain would convert at the 10:49 mark to make it a 4-2 game with a long wrist sot that beat Evgeni Nabokov, then he would add his 2nd of the night with 4:26 to play with a slap shot from close range.

Calgary leads Colorado by 3 points for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Avalanche still have 2 games to play, while the Flames will close out their regular season on Saturday.

Flames head coach Jim Playfair would pull Kiprusoff with a minute to play, but a long wrist shot by Phaneuf is as close as Calgary would come to the Sharks net.


The Sharks continued to break their franchise wins and points record. The victory gave San Jose 106 points, the most in franchise history, breaking the old mark set in 2003-04. The win also gave the Sharks 51 victories on the season. Bill Guerin was a scratch, opening the door for Pavelski to return to the lineup.

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1 2 3 T
CGY 0 1 2 3
SJ 0 2 2 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Michalek 25 (Carle, Thornton), 7:50. 2, SJ, Bell 11 (Pavelski, Marleau), 9:30. 3, CGY, Huselius 34 (Phaneuf, Iginla), 10:18, (pp).
3rd period - 4, SJ, Grier 16 (Brown, McLaren), 2:29. 5, SJ, Cheechoo 26 (Thornton, Michalek), 5:42. 6, CGY, Iginla 38 (Stuart), 10:49. 7, CGY, Iginla 39 (Tanguay, Langkow), 15:34.
1st period - Bell, SJ (hooking), 1:23; Brown, SJ (hooking), 3:08; Warrener, CGY (hooking), 6:24; Stuart, CGY (tripping), 10:43; Pavelski, SJ (slashing), 16:31; Hamrlik, CGY (hooking), 18:28.
2nd period - Team, CGY (too many men on the ice), 3:19; Stuart, CGY (slashing), 4:16; Phaneuf, CGY (interference), 6:33; Clowe, SJ (elbowing), 6:33; Marleau, SJ (boarding), 10:09; Nabokov, SJ (hooking), 13:33; Friesen, CGY (slashing), 18:50.
3rd period - None.
  Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 42 38
SJ - Nabokov 32 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 8 10 14 32
SJ 13 18 11 42
Power Play Conversion
CGY 1 of 5
SJ 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Jerome Iginla
Milan Michalek
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Chris Lee. Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Brad Lazarowich.

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