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Stick a fork in em
Regular season ends with a whimper
4/18/2024 - By Mike Lee

The 2023-24 NHL season has mercifully come to an end for the San Jose Sharks. With a full scale rebuild in progress, the Sharks limped through the majority of the year armed with little talent and even less motivation to compete in the Pacific Division and Western Conference. They closed out the year with one final whipping, this time at the hands of the Calgary Flames who pummeled the Sharks 5-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday night.

Without any star power, the Sharks trudged through this final game, much like the regular season: trailing from the start, allowing their young prospects to cut their teeth against more talented and motivated NHLers, succumbing to better teams that feasted on them from start to finish.

The lopsided loss was a microcosm of the Sharks season.

The Sharks had a prime chance to start things off on the right foot in the first minute of the game when Fabian Zetterlund found himself with the puck while staged 10 feet out from the Flames goal. His prime scoring chance ended up sailing wide past Gilroy native Dustin Wolf in net. The wasted opportunity was just the start of a rough opening period for San Jose.

Adam Klapka made his 6th career NHL start a memorable one by scoring his 1st NHL goal at 12:13 after the Sharks failed to convert on a power play chance. Klapka gathered a loose puck near the inside edge of the left circle, then snapped a shot that sailed over Devin Cooley's right shoulder.

A high sticking penalty to Marc-Edouard Vlasic helped the Flames pot a 2nd goal 2:27 after Klapka's goal. Blake Coleman scored one of the easier goals in his career with a tap in from the right post after Connor Zary sent a pass over form the left side. Mario Ferraro let Coleman park on the post and was late to try and defend the shot.

Oliver Kylington kept things rolling for Calgary early in the 2nd period when he used a Andrei Kuzmenko screen to loop a shot past Cooley for his 3rd of the year. The goal came at 3:53 of the frame.

Kevin Rooney pushed the Flames lead to 4-0 just 2 minutes later. Kevin Rooney uncorked a quick wrist shot from the high slot that split Jack Studnicka's skates. Cooley was late to pick up the wrister.

The public address announcer didn't even have time to announce Rooney's goal before Mackenzie Weegar scored at 6:56. Cooley's night was done after he surrendered the 5th goal on 23 Calgary shots.

The Sharks finally solved Wolf with 8.9 seconds in the contest after Martin Pospisil was sent off for slashing late. Fabian Zetterlund ripped a shot from the high slot, beating Wolf over teh right shoulder. The goal was Zetterlund's 24th of the season.

Game Notes:

* Fabian Zetterlund was the only Sharks to play in all 82 games this season. He finished as the only Sharks to eclipse the 20 goal mark. Zetterlund's 24 tallies led the team.

* Filip Zadina will end the season with the worst plus/minus for San Jose with a -44 in 72 games played.

* With the primary assist on Zetterlund's goal, Mikael Granlund extended his point scoring streak to 13 games.

* Zetterlund, Henry Thrun, Calen Addison and William Eklund all finished the game with -3 plus minus. The Sharks were a combined -25 for the contest.

* Finally, we'll finish on a positive. The Sharks were 23 of 40 from on draws, compiling a 53% win percentage.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
CGY 2 3 0 5
1st period - 1, CGY, Klapka 1 (unassisted), 12:13. 2, CGY, Coleman 30 (Zary, Andersson), 14:40.
2nd period - 3, CGY, Kylington 3 (Kuzmenko), 3:53. 4, CGY, Rooney 3 (Pospisil, Coronato), 5:59. 5, CGY, Weegar 20 (Miromanov, Coleman), 6:56.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Zetterlund 24 (Granlund, Graf), 19:51, (pp).
1st period - Pospisil, CGY (goaltender interference), 8:35; Vlasic, SJ (high sticking), 12:33.
2nd period - Smith, SJ (fighting major), 2:54; Klapka, CGY (fighting major), 2:54.
3rd period - Kunin, SJ (roughing), 18:17; Pospisil, CGY (slashing), 18:17; Corontao, CGY (roughing), 18:17.
Shots Saves
SJ - Cooley 23 18
SJ - Romanov 14 14
CGY - Wolf 17 16
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 5 6 6 17
CGY 16 13 8 37
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
CGY 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Blake Coleman
Mackenzie Weegar
Dustin Wolf
Scotiabank Saddledome - 17,946
Referees: #20 Mitch Dunning, #48 Beau Halkidis. Linesmen: #90 Travis Toomey, #77 Caleb Apperson.

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