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Sharks peter out in Calgary
Flames score late to take 3-2 win
1/11/17 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks missed on a golden chance to go perfect on their swing through Alberta on Wednesday night, but a flurry of missed opportunities against the Calgary Flames allowed the host Calgary Flames to come from behind to take a 3-2 decision at Scotiabank Saddledome. Aaron Dell matched Chad Johnson with a 25 save night, but the Flames had one more shot that San Jose in a game that can be best described as the one that got away.

Dell, an Alberta native, played well enough to win, but he was backstopping a tired team that was also thin on the blueline due to an administrative error by the Sharks coaching staff. Defenseman Mirco Muller was penciled in as a scratch on the official lineup card, but the young German was on the ice for the start of the game, while Paul Martin was absent.

Mueller skated a shift before the scorekeepers noticed the lineup inconsistency. Referee Dan O'Halloran conferred with the desk, then skated over to the Sharks bench to advise head coach Peter DeBoer that Mueller had to be removed from the game. It wasn't clear if the error was a mistake or if Martin was injured in warm-ups and couldn't make the start of the game.

Whatever the reason, San Jose played the rest of the game with 5 defensemen, which showed in the 3rd period where the entire lineup labored. Calgary cashed in with 2:19 left in regulation, scoring the go ahead goal on a screened shot through traffic. Dougie Hamilton ripped a shot that Matthew Tkachuk may have tipped, but regardless, it beat Dell late in a game that San Jose could have won. Dell also may have had his vision impeded by defenseman Brendan Dillon, who had a nightmare game.

Dillon allowed the Flames to time the game with 31 seconds left in the 2nd period by taking a holding penalty late in the period. The call itself was bewildering. Dillon and Matt Stajan were trailing the puck up ice and both looked like they were holding hands, but referee Jon McIsaac ruled that Dillon was impeding the Flames forward, even though the puck was nowhere near either of the players.

Tkachuk scored on the ensuing power play, when a Mikael Backlund shot hit him in the leg and bounced past Dell.

The Sharks staked themselves to a 2-1 lead in the 1st period when Logan Couture scored his second goal in as many nights at 9:40 on the power play. Brent Burns fired a shot from the blueline, that Couture deflected from the high slot, beating Johnson through the five-hole.

Michael Frolik tied the game two minute later when a shot bounced of Dell and landed right on his stick as he danced through the crease.

Burns answered less than 5 minutes later by ripping a shot from the outside of the right circle. Mikkel Boedker, the hero of Tuesday night's game, screened the shot, which tucked just inside the left point. The goal was Burns' 17th of the season.

Boedker was the focal point in two critical moments in the 3rd period. The Sharks was hooked on a breakaway chance with 5:27 to play in regulation with the game tied 2-2. Boedker was awarded a penalty shot, but his chance went unfulfilled after he took a wide line and was smothered by Johnson.

After Hamilton gave the Flames their lead late in the game, the Sharks were called for a penalty with an empty net, which put them down39 seconds to play. On the ensuing faceoff, the Sharks somehow gained control of the puck deep in their own zone and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic hit Boedker with a long pass to spring him for another breakaway.

Boedker sprinted in on Johnson, but his shot deflected off the Flame goaltender's blocker with 8 seconds left in regulation. The Sharks forward had a hat-trick one night, and was a breakaway bust 24-hours later. They were two misses that would have potted the Sharks a point in the standings at the very least.

Game Notes:

* Defenseman Tim Heed made his NHL debut for the Sharks and represented himself very well. Heed skated 19 shifts, logging 16:29 of ice time. He registered the Sharks first shot on goal and had two blocked shots.

* In a statistical peculiarity, Paul Martin was credited with the ice time that Mirco Mueller logged.

* Timo Meier had a strong game. He was quick to the puck and wasn't afraid to stick his nose in tough places. The forward recorded a pair of shots, takeaways and hits.

* Joe Thornton was originally credited with an assist on Logan Couture's goal, which would have been Thornton's 989th career assist, but there was a late scoring change. the secondary assist was given to Joe Pavelski instead of Thornton.





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Scoring
1 2 3 SO T
SJ 2 0 0 2
CGY 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, Sj, Couture 14 (Burns, Pavelski), 9:40, (pp). 2, CGY, Frolik 11 (Engelland, Tkachuk), 11:22. 3, Burns 17 (Boedker, Karlsson), 16:06.
2nd period - 4, CGY, Tkachuk 8 (Backlund, Hamilton), 19:28, (pp).
3rd period - Penalty Shot, SJ, Boedker (miss), 14:33. 5, CGY, Hamilton 7 (Giordano, Backlund), 17:41.
Penalties
1st period - Frolik, CGY (slashing), 8:58.
2nd period - Tkachuk, CGY (interference), 11:10; Dillon, SJ (holding), 18:00.
3rd period - Haley, SJ (roughing), 9:55; Hathaway, CGY (roughing), 9:55.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Dell 28 25
CGY - Johnson 27 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 7 8 27
CGY 8 9 11 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
CGY 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Matthew Takchuk
Brent Burns
Chad Johnson
Attendance
Scotiabank Saddledome - 18,912
Officials
Referees: McIsaac, O'Halloran. Linesmen: Rody, Knorr.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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