Sometimes you're late for the party. Sometimes
you don't even get an invitation. The Sharks missed the opening bell, then gave
up a bushel of 3rd period goals to drop a 7-3 beat down for the 2nd consecutive
game at the hands of the Calgary Flames. As was the case on Sunday night, the
Sharks sat within a lone goal of the Flames in the 3rd period, but defensive
lapses allowed Calgary to blitz the Sharks with 4 tallies in the last 10
minutes of the game.
It was another reminder that the Sharks have a
lot of work to do to become competitive in the NHL. That and they need to plug
several roster holes that are filled with players who are not up to the task of
playing NHL caliber hockey.
If the Flames goal was to get a good
start, they overachieved. Calgary scored a pair of goals in the first 30
seconds of the contest, landing a haymaker that stunned the Sharks.
Tyler Toffoli scored 15 seconds after the opening faceoff, tapping home a
Dillon Dube pass for his 12th goal of the season. Elias Lindholm fed Dube from
the bottom of the left circle as Dube cut down the slot. The centerman forced
goaltender James Reimer to commit, before slipping the puck over to Toffoli on
the right post for the easy deposit.
The same trio stayed on the ice
and let another 15 seconds elapse before scoring again. Erik Karlsson made a
lazy attempt at clearing the puck out of the Sharks end, which ended up on
Toffoli's stick. The puck then found Lindholm who sent a diagonal pass to Dube
who was skating out of the right corner. Dube then cut across the top of the
crease from right to left, waiting out Reimer and sliding the puck home for his
7th of the season.
Nico Sturm cut the Flames lead in half with his 9th
goal of the season at 14:58. The Sharks forward was floating down the slot
toward the Calgary net when Timo Meier whipped a pass out of the right corner.
Sturm gathered the feed and flipped it between Jacob Markstrom's pads.
Trevor Lewis pushed the Flames lead to 3-1 midway through the 2nd period. The
Flames worked the puck into the Sharks zone when Adam Ruzicka fired a shot from
the left dot. Reimer made the save, but the puck kicked off his left pad out to
the high slot where Lewis was there for the put back attempt. Alexander
Barabanov didn't help himself by floating back on defense, allowing Ruzicka's
The Sharks forward atoned for his bad look on defense by scoring
with 36.2 seconds left in the period. Barabanov was also in the right spot at
the right time. Scott Harrington tried to unleash a shot from the high slot,
but the puck slid off his stick over to the left side where Barabanov was
lurking. The Russian gathered the loose puck and tucked it behind goaltender
Jacob Markstrom for his 4th tally of the season.
Timo Meier tied the
game at 3-3 just before the 4 minute mark of the 3rd period. San Jose stepped
up the pressure as they attacked the Flames zone. Erik Karlsson worked the puck
to Meier in the high slot for a wrist-shot that beat Markstrom. The goal marked
the 3rd consecutive game in which the forward has scored, and the 8th straight
where Karlsson has recorded an assist.
The Sharks looked poised to take the lead when they
had a 2-on-1 break at the midway point of the period, but Oskar Lindblom's shot
attempt was snuffed out by Markstrom. Calgary immediately countered and Nazem
Kadri roofed an attempt to help the Flames reclaim the lead at 4-3.
Milan Lucic put the game out of reach on a put-back chance from in tight after
Reimer failed to cover the puck. Lucic has only 2 goals this season, both
coming in the last 2 games versus San Jose.
Toffoli added an empty
netter after David Quinn pulled Reimer. That looked to cap the game' scoring by
Kadri added his 2nd goal of the game after Lindblom lost his assignment in the
slot. Game Notes:
* Tomas Hertl served the 1st game of
a 2-game suspension that was handed down on Monday by the NHL. Hertl will
donate pay for the two games after he high-sticked Elias Lindholm on Sunday. It
was the first suspension of Hertl's career.
* Mario Ferraro returned
to the lineup after missing 10 games after suffering a foot injury in 5-2 loss
to the Los Angeles Kings on November 25th.
* The Sharks announced
before the game that Luke Kunin underwent successful surgery to repair a torn
ACL that he suffered in the Sharks 3-2 win over Arizona on December 13th. Kunin
will miss the remainder of the season as he recovers from the injury.
* Nico Sturm dropped the gloves with Brett Ritchie on the shift following his
goal. It was only the 2nd fight of Sturm's NHL career.
* Matt Nieto
skated in his 600th career NHL game. Matt Benning skated in his 400th career