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Hertl's hat trick powers unlikely win
Sharks overcome 1st place Flames with big 2nd period
12/7/2021 - By Mike Lee

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 Center.

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 hat trick.

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 sharks net.

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.

The 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 safely away.

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.


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1 2 3 T
CGY 2 1 0 3
SJ 1 3 1 5
1st period - 1, CGY, Dube 3 (Lucic), 1:37. 2, SJ, Hertl 10 (Gregor, Barabanov), 8:58, (pp). 3, CGY, Gaudreau 10 (Tkachuk), 11:55.
2nd period - 4, CGY, Ruzicka 1 (Tanev, Richardson), 4:31. 5, SJ, Karlsson 7 (Couture, Weatherby), 10:08. 6, SJ, Couture 8 (Karlsson, Dahlen), 14:27, (pp). 7, SJ, Hertl 11 (Barabanov), 18:10.
3rd period - 8, SJ, Hertl 12 (Couture, Burns), 19:18, (en).
1st period - Gudbranson, CGY (cross checking), .
2nd period - Dahlen, SJ (high sticking), 1:20. Karlsson, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:56; Zadorov, CGY (cross checking), 14:16.
3rd period - Meloche, SJ (tripping), 9:32.
Shots Saves
CGY - Vlader 26 22
CGY - empty net 1 0
SJ - Hill 43 40
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 12 16 15 43
SJ 8 14 5 27
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 3
SJ 2 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Erik Karlsson
Adin Hill
SAP Center - 17,562
Referees: #31 Michael Markovic, #5 Chris Rooney. Linesmen: #94 Bryan Pancich, #93 Kilian McNamara .

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