Left winger Jiri Hudler scored in the fourth round of a shootout to
give the visitors a wild 6-5 win over Sharks.
San Jose had a golden opportunity to win late in regulation but
failed to convert on a full two-minute, five-on-three advantage,
even with cold Calgary backup goalie Jonas Hiller forced to enter
the game with just three minutes remaining when starter Karri Ramo
injured his left leg.
"We really needed these points, and I wanted nothing more than to
help the team win," Hiller said. "I'm definitely happy and excited
with the way it went."
Center Logan Couture was the only one of four Sharks' shooters to
score in the shootout, while center Joe Colborne converted before
Hudler as the Flames won a third straight game.
"We got our chances in overtime and the shootout," Sharks captain
Joe Pavelski said.
In regulation, Couture had one goal and three assists. Flames center
Sam Bennett finished with a goal and two assists.
Hiller stopped all seven shots he faced, including two in overtime.
Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock made 17 saves.
"Kudos to him," Couture said of Hiller. "He stepped in on a
five-on-three and made unbelievable saves. He saved them a couple of
The Sharks not only capped a three-goal comeback, but they briefly
led early in the third period.
Rookie left winger Joonas Donskoi tied the game 4-4 with his ninth
goal at 2:46 of the third. He tapped home a goal-line feed from
Couture past Ramo, who got tangled with defenseman Ladislav Smid in
Rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo scored his second of the year as San
Jose converted a third power play in six chances at 5:55 for a 5-4
Calgary rallied back as defenseman Kris Russell crashed the net to
punch home his fourth of the season at 8:08 on the power play.
"We knew that they would come at us," Flames coach Bob Hartley said.
"You look at their offensive power. We knew they would get lots of
pressure on us, and that's what they did. But a gutsy effort from
our guys. I'm very proud of our team."
A strong second period that featured the Sharks outshooting the
penalty-plagued Flames 9-4 enabled the hosts the climb back within a
goal on the strength of a pair of power-play strikes.
Couture scored his fifth of the season just 48 seconds into the
middle period after taking a perfect cross-ice feed from defenseman
Brent Burns and beating Ramo with a wrist shot from the left circle.
Center Patrick Marleau scored his 17th to convert a five-on-three
with a tap-in in front off a pass from Thornton at 11:17.
San Jose had another power play before the period expired but failed
to gain the equalizer despite Thornton hitting the post with a drive
from the left circle on a rush.
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"That was quite a game," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I don't
know where to start. I liked the fact we didn't pack it and found a
way to get a point."
The Sharks played possibly their worst period of the season to open
the game -- allowing four goals during the first 13:26 -- with
wide-spread lackadaisical play all over the ice.
San Jose defenseman Justin Braun wore the goat horns on the first
two goals against. His bad clearing pass was picked off by Bennett
in neutral ice, and the Calgary center skated to the top of the
right circle before beating Stalock with a low shot to the far
corner of the net at 4:12 for his 15th goal.
The Flames needed only 30 seconds to convert a Couture minor when
defenseman Mark Giordano's wrister from the left circle deflected
off Braun's stick past Stalock at 5:18. Giordano's 13th goal snapped
an 11-for-11 run by the Sharks' penalty kill over five games.
The Sharks rallied back briefly as Donskoi fed Tommy Wingels for the
right winger's sixth goal at 8:45. However, Calgary struck twice
more with goals just 40 seconds apart before the end of the period.
Calgary center Sean Monahan scored his 17th at 12:46 in close on a
tap-in to cap a three-on-two break. Then center Mikael Backlund
scored his eighth when he skated wide on an overaggressive Stalock
and fired into the open net at 13:26 on yet another odd-man break
surrendered by the Sharks.
NOTES: San Jose D Brenden Dillon sat out Thursday with an upper-body
injury he sustained Tuesday at Chicago. He could return as early as
Saturday. D Matt Tennyson appeared for the first time since Dec. 8.
Before Thursday, the Sharks dressed the same six blue-liners in 25
consecutive games. ... LW Johnny Gaudreau, C Sean Monahan and C
Lance Bouma returned to the Calgary lineup Thursday after getting
scratched from the previous game. Calgary coach Bob Hartley sat the
trio for breaking an unspecified team rule. All three barely made it
in time for practice the day before the team's Tuesday win over
Toronto. ... The Flames wrap up the quick two-day trip in Arizona on
Friday, and the Sharks next host the Coyotes on Saturday. ... San
Jose recalled D Mirco Mueller, who was a healthy scratch along with
RW Mike Brown. ... C Josh Jooris, D Jakub Nakladal and LW Brandon
Bollig did not dress for Calgary.
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