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Sharks overcome bad call to beat Flames
Overtime goal erroneously overturned
1/17/12 - By Mike Lee -

Any sport that requires officials will invariably have instances of bad officiating. Bad calls can result in injustices that aren't always fair. Then there are times when a bad situation rights itself and all is right in the world. The Sharks overcame one of those situations on Tuesday night to defeat the visiting Calgary Flames 2-1 in the shootout at HP Pavilion.

San Jose should have won the game in overtime, after Justin Braun put a shot past former Sharks netminder Miikka Kiprusoff. Braun pumped a shot from the top of the right circle with just over a minute left in the extra frame, but officials Rob Martell and Mike Leggo ruled that Tommy Wingels interfered with Kiprusoff.

The issue was, Wingles never touched Kiprusoff. Replays clearly showed that Flames center Olli Jokinen pushes his own netminder after stopping in front of his net. Jokinen was covering Wingels, who also stopped outside the crease.

There was no video review, because the scenario Is not reviewable. Contrary to logic, the league allows its on-ice officials to make judgments based on what they see and that's that.

Luckily for San Jose, goaltender Antti Niemi overcame Martell and Leggo's gaff by outlasting the Flames. Niemi stopped 27 shots, including three in the overtime period. One of those was a breakaway chance by recently acquired winger Mike Cammalleri.

Niemi's best work came in the shootout, where he stopped Jerome Iginla and Cammalleri. Michal Handzus and Brent Burns converted for San Jose to lock up the two points for the Sharks. Handzus snapped a shot over Kiprusoff's right shoulder, and Burns put a backhand shot past the Flames goaltender on the opposite side.

"In the last two, three years I've been in the shootout," said Handzus. "Obviously, you want to be the guy who wins it, get the point."

Chris Butler snapped a scoreless deadlock midway through the game on a shot from the left point. The Flames forced a turnover in the Sharks zone, working the puck in the right corner before kicking it out to the defenseman up high. Niemi was late to react to the waist high shot that tucked just under the crossbar.

Torrey Mitchell tied the game with nine minutes and change left in regulation with his 5th goal of the season. Mitchell was the benefactor of his own setup work from behind the Flames net. Parked along the end boards, Mitchell hit Handzus with a pass in the slot for a shot attempt that bounced off Kiprusoff. With the Flames defense collapsing on Handzus, he slid the puck back to Miitchell, who was left unattended along the right post. Mitchell lifted the backhand chance into a wide open net.

The goal was Mitchell's second in a week, providing another offensive threat for San Jose. Mitchell had been mired in a season long slump, but a benching in Columbus seems to have lit a fire.

"It's pretty evident for all of us, you don't have to be a hockey expert, that he got the message," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said of Mitchell. "He's skating harder; he's much more involved in the play. We talk about leaving a mark on a game. It's not always a goal or an assist, but you can actually have an impact on the outcome, from a positive viewpoint. And, Mitchell, since that day, has had that most nights."

Iginla summed up the game minus all of the debate related to eh blown call.

"We always want to beat them for sure," said the Flames captain. "They always seem to be good intense games - good, physical games and tonight was no different."

Game Notes:

Burns recorded his 200th career point with the secondary assist on Mitchell's goal.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
CGY 0 1 0 0 0 1
SJ 0 0 1 0 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, CGY, Butler 2 (Iginla, Backlubd), 12:07.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Mitchell 5 (Handzus, Burns), 10:44.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ; Marleau (miss), Handzus (goal), Burns (goal). CGY: Iginla (miss), Cammalleri (miss).
1st period - Glencross, CGY (tripping), 9:30.
2nd period - Brodie, CGY (boarding), 15:30.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - Cammalleri, CGY (roughing), 5:00; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 5:00.
Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 31 30
SJ - Niemi 28 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CGY 6 11 8 3 28
SJ 4 10 14 3 31
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 0
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Miikk Kiprusoff
Brent Burns
Referees: Martell, Leggo. Linesmen: Cvik, Gibbs.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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