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Pavelski's late heroics propel Sharks
SJ overcomes Kiprusoff's 39 saves
4/5/13 - By Mike Lee -

Miikka Kiprusoff has haunted the Sharks since the day he was traded by San Jose to the Calgary Flames back in 2003. He almost stung them one more time on Friday night at HP Pavilion as the Flames netminder made save after frustrating save. The Sharks eventually prevailed with a pair of 3rd period goals, extending their winning streak to 7 games. The two points they earned in the standings also vaulted them into the 4th seed in the Western Conference.

Friday night's engagement with the Flames was billed as a cake walk as the red-hot Sharks squared off against a team fighting to stay out of the Western Conference basement. The motivation of being traded by a team seems to have always served Kiprusoff well, and the latest matchup between the netminder and his former employer looked as if it would play a big role.

The Flames goaltender made 17 saves in the opening period alone, frustrating a Sharks offense that kept the puck in the Calgary end of the ice for much of the opening 20 minutes.

To add to the frustration, Logan Couture was sent off for a suspect hooking penalty with 2:11 left in the period. The Flames used all of 6 seconds of the ensuing power play to strike. Mike Cammalleri won a faceoff in the Sharks zone, drawing the puck back to the blueline where Mikael Backlund ripped a shot past Antti Niemi for a 1-0 lead.

That lead looked as if it might be all the Flames would need after the Sharks failed to mount much of a charge in the middle period. Calgary shifted into defensive mode and suppressed the Sharks who ruled the neutral zone in the 1st period. The middle stanza was a different story.

The Sharks sent a paltry 8 shots in Kiprusoff's direction. A Matt Irwin tripping penalty at 14:12 gave the Flames another shot to extend their lead, but San Jose's penalty killers buttoned down the defense and kept the puck away from Niemi.

Alex Tanguay took his own hooking penalty 17 seconds into the 3rd period, finally opening up an opportunity for San Jose. The Sharks wouldn't score during the two minute man-advantage, but they gave the home sellout crowd something to cheer about shortly after it expired.

Picking up where he left off on Wednesday, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle scored a goal off a break at 2:40 of the period. Unlike Wednesday's coast-to-coast special, Boyle let Logan Couture the puck up ice before taking a feed between the circles and snapping home his 7th goal of the season.

Boyle's goal changed the whole complexion of the period. The energy level in the building picked up and the Sharks showed that extra jump in their step.

Sa Jose out-shot Calgary 16-6 in the period, but the biggest shot came with two minutes remaining in regulation.

With the puck pinned against the Calgary end boards, T.J. Galiardi worked it toward the right post. The Sharks forward pushed the puck out to the front of the crease where Brent Burns tried getting in on the act. Instead of getting a shot off, Burns stepped on the puck, going down in a heap in front of Kiprusoff, but in doing so, he also booted the puck to the left side where Joe Pavelski was looming.

Pavelski had raced around the back of the net to the perfect spot outside the left post, where he swept Burns soccer pass into the net for the go-ahead goal.

With the Sharks now in the lead and two minutes left to respond, the Flames immediately pulled Kiprusoff for the extra attacker, but Niemi stepped up and denied the Flames from ruining the party.

Kiprusoff finished with 39 saves.


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1 2 3 T
CGY 1 0 0 1
SJ 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, CGY, Backlund 6 (Cammalleri), 17:55, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Boyle 7 (Couture, Tennyson), 2:40. 3, SJ, Pavelski 12 (Burns, Galiardi), 17:54.
1st period - Brodie, CGY (slashing), 10:28; Couture, SJ (hooking), 17:49.
2nd period - Backlund, CGY (goaltender interference), 3:16; Irwin, SJ (tripping), 14:12.
3rd period - Tanguay, CGY (hooking), 0:17.
Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 41 39
SJ - Niemi 24 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 10 8 6 24
SJ 17 8 16 41
Power Play Conversion
CGY 1 of 2
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Miikka Kiprusoff
Antti Niemi
Referees: Hebert, Leggo. Linesmen: Gibbs, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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