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Home unbeaten streak finally ends
Calgary pounces on costly Shark miscues
1/15/09 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks improbable streak of consecutive games at home without a regulation loss ended on Thursday night. More importantly, it came at the hands of the Calgary Flames, who have now knocked off the Sharks twice in the past week. The Sharks stumbled through the 60 minute affair, finally succumbing to the Flames 3-2, after tipping the puck into their own net in the final 4 minutes of play.

Mistakes were magnified by bigger mistakes, including gaffs on all three Flames goals. San Jose surrendered leads twice, after allowing the Flames to capitalize on their errors.

"I thought it was a very competitive hard fought game tonight," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "Obviously we did not have enough at the end to win it, but we had our share of chances and it didn't go our way"

Ryane Clowe wasted little time getting the Sharks on the board, scoring his 19th goal of the season a minute into the game. Clowe was the beneficiary of a strong forecheck behind the Sharks net, as he hovered around the front of the net. Dan Boyle slid a centering pass to Clowe for the one-timer and a 1-0 lead.

The Sharks were guilty of spectating early in the 2nd period, and it would cost them. Craig Conroy knotted the game with his 6th goal of the year after crashing in on Evgeni Nabokov. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski failed to collapse on the net, allowing the Flames centerman to chip a shot pas the Sharks netminder from the doorstep.

The Sharks All Star contingent of Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle and Devin Setoguchi teamed up to put San Jose back on top at 6:57 of the period. After Boyle chipped the puck up the right wing boards on a counter-attack, Thornton scooped it up, cut across the slot and whipped a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff for this 12th goal of the year. Patrick Marleau distracted Kiprusoff by skating to the net, and Thornton read the play by pulling shot back toward the opposite post.

The lead would be short lived after Sharks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff took a holding penalty at 9:27. Calgary took all of 8 seconds to score on the ensuing power play , when Mike Cammalleri threw the puck toward the net where Damond Langkow was parked uncontested. Langkow simply tipped the puck over Nabokov shoulder for this 16th of the season.

The Sharks almost answered on the ensuing face off when Marleau crashed the net and undressed Kiprusoff, but a Matthew Lombardi interference penalty prevented the Sharks from scoring. A Cory Sarich hooking penalty gave the Sharks a brief 5-on-3 power play, but the special teams play sputtered.

"We stayed tenacious, and I thought we checked fairly well," said Flames head coach Mike Keenan. "The special teams were very important. They had a five-on-three with a very offensively skilled team, and we were able to kill that penalty off which in the end made a big difference."

The crossbar saved Nabokov later in the period when a Bourque shot hit iron after slipping past the Sharks netminder.

An Adam Pardy hooking penalty gave the Sharks a power play midway through the 3rd period, providing the Sharks with the closest non-goal of the season. A 40-foot slapshot off the stick of Thornton , hit the left post, then shot across the goal line before hitting the opposite post and out.

Dion Phaneuf finally put the Flames in front with his 4th goal of the season with just under 4 minutes to play in regulation after Vlasic turned over the puck in his own zone. The Calgary defenseman put a shot in the direction of the Sharks net, but Vlasic deflected it past Nabokov and the streak was done.

"We are paying attention to the details that are involved in winning, and winning consistently," Keenan added. "Nobody has been able to beat this team in this arena, until now. So that's a good opportunity for us to run from the things we have done well, and try to improve as a team."

Game Notes:

Clowe’s 1st period goal gave him 34 points for the season (19 goals, 15 assists), tying his career high. Rob Blake took a puck to the face in the 1st period and did not return. He was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

"Rob (Blake) obviously took the shot in the face the puck rolled up his stick and hit him in the face," McLellan noted after the game. "He left the game and is at the hospital and will be re-evaluated tomorrow."


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1 2 3 T
CGY 0 2 1 3
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Clowe 19 (Boyle, Pavelski), 1:00.
2nd period - 2, CGY, Conroy 6 (Moss, Aucoin), 2:02. 3, SJ, Thornton 12 (Setoguchi, Boyle), 6:57. 4, CGY, Langkow 16 (Cammalleri, Iginla), 9:35, (pp).
3rd period - 5, CGY, Phaneuf 4 (Langkow, Bourque), 16:03.
1st period - Cheechoo, SJ (hooking), 4:26; Bourque, CGY (boarding), 12:06.
2nd period - Ehrhoff, SJ (holding), 9:27; Lombardi, CGY (Interference), 10:27; Bourque, CGY (cross checking), 11:18; Thornton, SJ (cross checking), 11:18; Sarich, CGY (hooking), 11:58; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 18:05.
3rd period - Joslin, SJ (interference), 1:16; Pardy, CGY (hooking), 10:41; Bench, SJ (too many men), 12:42; Aucoin, CGY (holding), 19:55.
Shots Saves
CGY - Kiprusoff 35 33
SJ - Nabokov 31 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 9 13 9 31
SJ 8 19 8 35
Power Play Conversion
CGY 1 of 5
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Damond Langkow
Dion Phaneuf
Miikka Kiprusoff
Referees: Fraser, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Nelson, Lazarowich.

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