Flames carry struggles into San Jose to face Sharks
FLAMES (26-17-6) at SHARKS (31-10-8)
Calgary 4-5-1; San Jose 7-2-1
Second of four meetings this season. The Flames already own a victory this season at the Shark Tank, winning 2-1 on Dec. 5 behind goals from Olli Jokinen and Daymond Langkow. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 35 shots, with Ryan Clowe picking up the lone score for San Jose.
San Jose hosts Chicago later this month in a clash of the top teams in the Western Conference -- on Monday, the Sharks will try to tie the Blackhawks for the most points in the League with 72. Calgary, meanwhile, is looking to break through after losing four straight and six of seven. The Flames got their offense going Sunday in Anaheim but gave up a pair of third-period goals in a 5-4 defeat.
After scoring just three goals in three games and going 0-2-1 in the process, Calgary scored four times in the first two periods Sunday. Unfortunately, they let a one-goal lead heading into the final 20 minutes slip away -- and with it, the chance to tie Colorado for the lead in the Northwest Division. It's been a frustrating time for guys like captain Jarome Iginla, who hasn't scored in eight games, but he cautioned patience and said better times are ahead.
"After (Anaheim) got off to a 3-1 lead we were able to stay with it, stay positive after not scoring a lot of goals for a while," Iginla said. "We were able to find them tonight. We're not winning, but guys are working hard and we want to win. It's going to break for us. It's going to go the other way and we're going to get ourselves on a roll."
Sharks: Devin Setoguchi
scored a pair of goals, one on the power play, as San Jose doubled up Edmonton 4-2 on Saturday afternoon. It snapped a nine-game goal drought for the third-year forward who scored 31 times in his sophomore season. While the Sharks are known for their potent offense, it had actually been seven games since a forward other than Patrick Marleau
, Dany Heatley
or Joe Thornton
netted a goal.
"It was nice to get rewarded," Setoguchi said. "Now I have to keep going forward and not take any steps and keep going in the right direction."
Marleau scored his League-leading 32nd goal of the season against the Oilers and has five points in his last three games. Heatley has three goals and four assists during a six-game points streak. Thornton has two goals and three assists during a four-game points streak. Evgeni Nabokov has allowed one goal or less in 12 of his last 14 starts (10-2-2).
It's an oddity at this point in the season, but neither club had a significant injury to report heading into Monday's game.
Kiprusoff, who started his career in San Jose and played for the Sharks from 2000-03, has 11 wins in 19 games against his former team. … Thornton's next point will move him into sole possession of second on the franchise's all-time scoring list. He's currently tied with Owen Nolan, now of the Minnesota Wild.
Backup Curtis McElhinney got the start for Calgary on Sunday and the Flames gave him four goals to work with, but it wasn't enough. Kiprusoff hadn't been getting anywhere near that kind of support of late, but if he gets it Monday then this could be the night Iginla has been anticipating where the team breaks through.