San Jose opened another 5-game road trip on
Tuesday night, and like their season opening trip in early October, the Sharks
got off to another unexpected start. Facing one of the hottest teams in the NHL
in the Calgary Flames, the Sharks played exceptional defense and got timely
goaltending from Adin Hill en route to a 4-1 win over the Flames. Hill made 37
saves, including 18 stops in a pivotal 2nd period.
This was the game
the Sharks were supposed to lose, but the young replacements that have been
filling in for the wave of COVID protocol casualties didn't know any better.
They kept things simple and Hill didn't allow many second chances for the
Flames to capitalize one. It was a simple recipe that netted the Sharks two
points against a Division opponent.
The Sharks held the host Flames in
check in the opening period. There was plenty of speed on the ice, but neither
team could generate any real solid scoring chances. The Sharks were benefactors
of a pair of penalties to bookend the period, but they could not cash in.
San Jose did convert right after Chris Tanev's carryover penalty
expired early in the 2nd period. Alexander Barabanov scored his 1st goal of the
season 47 seconds into the frame. Teh young forward took a long pass from Brent
Burns at the Flames blueline and slipped past defenseman Oliver Kylington
before sliding the puck between goaltender Jacob Markstrom's pads for the 1-0
That lead would be short-lived as Milan Lucic poked home a loose
puck from inside the crease 30 seconds later. Sharks assistant coach John
McLean, who is running the bench while Bob Boughner remains on the NHL's COVID
protocol, challenged the play for goaltender interference. The challenge would
fail, which not only meant the Flames tied the game, but they were given a
power play as well.
The Sharks killed that penalty, and were forced to
defend short-handed two minutes later when Andrew Cogliano caught Rasmus
Anderson with a high stick. The league's 2nd ranked penalty kill did its job,
keeping the game tied. even though Calgary held a 17-5 shot advantage in the
Jaycob Megna put the Flames on the power play for a
3rd time in the period, but goaltender Adin Hill stood tall. The Flames
narrowly missed taking the lead on a Matthew Tkachuk chance at the doorstep,
but the setup pass was too hot for the young forward to handle.
Sharks came out flying to start the 3rd period and it paid off when captain
Logan Couture scored his 5th goal of the season at 4:18. The centerman put a
puck on net from the right side that clipped Nikita Zadorov stick blade, which
changed the speed and trajectory of the shot. That was enough to cross up
Markstrom, who waved at it in the wrong place but couldn't stop it.
Once they had the lead, the Sharks youngsters played like seasoned veterans,
taking away lanes and keeping the puck away from Hill. The Sharks netminder did
his thing, by preventing any big rebounds and smothering everything in tight.
The Flames were forced to pull Markstrom with 90 seconds left in the
contest and the Sharks capitalized after Tomas Hertl jumped onto the ice. With
the puck sliding down the rink on what should have been an icing, Hertl raced
past the Flames defense, grabbed the puck, then swept it into the net from
behind the end line on the right side.
Jonathan Dahlen added another
empty net goal 22 seconds later to give him a share of the NHL goal scoring
lead among rookies. Game Notes:
* The Flames entered
play on a 10-game point streak and hadn't lost in regulation in three weeks.
They lost to Edmonton 5-2 on opening night, then went 7-0-3 before dropping
Tuesday night's game to San Jose.
* Rookie defenseman Santeri Hatakka
recorded his first NHL assist and point on Logan Couture's game winning goal.
With all the young players who have been forced into the lineup this season, it
seems like someone new is recording a career first every night.
Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov leveld Alexander Barabanov with an open ice
hit early in the 3rd period. The defenseman caught Barabanov in the head with
his shoulder. The hit could draw additional review by the league if they're
going to be consistent about head shots.
* The Sharks are now 6-1-0 vs
Canadian teams this season. They will get a chance to make it 7-1-0 on Thursday
as they head to Winnipeg to take on the Jets. San Jose is already 2-0-0 versus
Winnipeg this season.
* The visiting Sharks jumped on the Flames to
start the 3rd and it seemed to catch the hosts by surprise. San Jose put the
first 5 shots on net, with Calgary not recording a shot until the 5 minute mark
of the period.
* Adin Hill recorded two assists in the game. He and
Vesa Toskala are the only Sharks goaltenders to record multi-point games.