History did not favor the Sharks as they
returned home from their recent 5-game road trip on Tuesday night. In two their
prior trips, both of the 5-game variety, the Sharks returned home and laid
eggs, losing 4-0 games to the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. A
minute into their contest with the first place Calgary Flames, it looked like
history may repeat itself. Instead, the Sharks dug deep in the middle period
and scored three big goals, then held on for a wild 5-3 win at SAP
If you just watched the first the first 30 minutes of the
contest, it would not have been far fetched to believe that the Sharks were
blown out. The Flames were flying and had a clear advantage in the skating
department. The Sharks were chasing Calgary most of the night, but they managed
to score when they needed bi goals.
Tomas Hertl led the Sharks with a
Adin Hill continued his trend of shaky starts, when he
surrendered a goal on the first shot of the game. Milan Lucic feathered a pass
to the front of the net as he skated up the left wing. Dillon Dube redirected
Lucic's pass from the slot right over Hill's glove hand. The goal was Dube's
3rd of the season.
The Sharks went on the power play at 8:06 of the
period after Erik Gudbranson cross checked Alexander Barabanov as the Sharks
forward was pursuing a puck at the Flames end boards. San Jose converted on the
ensuing power play when Tomas Hertl roofed a shot from the inside of the right
circle for his 10th goal of the season.
Calgary responded 3 minutes
later when Matthew Tkachuk fished a puck off the end boards and sent a blind
backhand pass out front where Johnny Gaudreau gathered it and lifted it over
Hill's glove from the doorstep.
The Sharks killed a Jonathan Dahlen
high sticking penalty early in the 2nd period, but they were not so lucky even
strength. Rookie Adam Ruzicka potted his 1st career NHL goal at 4:31 after
Christopher Tanev put a puck on net. Hill made the initial stop, but Ruzicka
was able to gather the rebound and slide it around Hill on the right side. The
Sharks had no defenders close enough to contain the Flames rookie, leaving Hill
dead to rights.
The Flames continued to overpower the Sharks, and
forced Erik Karlsson into a delay of game penalty when he rushed a clearing
attempt and hoisted it over the puck while Tkachuk pressured him behind the
Karlsson would make amends after his teammates killed his
penalty. After exiting the box, Karlsson slipped behind the Flames defense then
gathered a long lead pass from Logan Couture. He raced up ice and slipped the
puck between Flames goaltender Dan Vladar's pads.
Nikita Zadorov put the Sharks back on the power play
at 14:16 after cross checking Jasper Weatherby. San Jose re-tied the game on
the power play that followed when Logan Couture tipped a Karlsson shot from the
point. Couture was parked in the low slot, and got the stick blade on the shot
to deflect it past Vladar for his 8th of the season.
Hertl staked the
Sharks to their first lead of the night with 1:50 remaining in the period.
Barbanov fired a shot that Vladar stopped with a kick save, but the puck
bounced out to Hertl on the left side for the put back goal.
Flames pulled Vladar with 1:30 left in regulation. It's a game of inches and
that wasn't more apparent than a shot that looked destined for the Sharks net
in the final seconds of the game, but Tkachuk got in the way, deflecting it
Hertl completed his hat trick with an empty net goal to
seal it. Game Notes:
* Kevin Labanc was a healthy
scratch, which was a shot over the bow by head coach Bob Boughner. Radim Simek
was also a healthy scratch. The Sharks were forced to recall goaltender Alexei
Melnichuk, as Reimer continues to fight a bug.
* Milan Lucic may be
getting a call from the league office later this week after he pushed Lane
Pederson head first into the boards. The Sharks forward headed to the locker
room, but returned to the Sharks bench. No penalty was called on the play.
* Lucic missed on a wide open net after Hill misplayed a puck out of
his net with 11:30 left in regulation. Call it karma.
* Logan Couture
recorded his 600th career NHL point with his assist on Tomas Hertl's third goal
of the evening. Couture finished the contest with a goal and 2 assists.
* Referee Michael Markovic took a puck to the face in the closing
seconds of the game. The official caught the puck squarely in the face, and was
helped to the Sharks locker room by San Jose's training staff.