San Jose
Sharks
Calgary
Flames

19 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
CGY
game recap

San Jose Sharks 1, Calgary Flames 3 FINAL

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:22 PM

Associated Press

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San Jose Sharks 1, Calgary Flames 3 FINAL
San Jose Sharks 1, Calgary Flames 3

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ The pandemonium began while the puck was still in play, sliding alone toward the tranquility of the San Jose Sharks' unguarded net.

When the final score of the Western Conference finals bisected the goal line as time expired, the Calgary Flames and their fans were going too crazy to notice. With one more fantastic finish, Canada's team had earned the right to play for the Cup.

Captain Jarome Iginla scored his 10th playoff goal and the Flames advanced to their first Stanley Cup finals in 15 years with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 Wednesday night.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 18 saves for the Flames, whose victory was the first by a home team in the series. But Calgary's ``Red Sea'' finally had something to cheer as the Flames took an early lead and hung on through the third period.

Calgary missed the playoffs in each of the previous seven seasons before a young roster, a new coach and an otherworldly goalie put together one of the most improbable playoff runs in recent history _ and it's not over yet.

``You never know when this opportunity is going to come again in your life,'' said Iginla, who leads the playoffs with 17 points. ``You'd like to think it's going to happen every year ... but we know that's not the case. You have to grab it when it comes.''

The Sharks pulled goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the final minute of a relentless third-period attack, but the Flames' Robyn Regehr was credited with a goal with one second left after San Jose's Alex Korolyuk attempted to pass the puck from behind the Calgary net.

It went the length of the ice, settling into the net while the Flames threw their sticks and gloves in the air.

Martin Gelinas, twice an overtime hero in series-clinching games, also put the puck in the net for the sixth-seeded Flames, who will open their fourth straight playoff series on the road Tuesday, either at Tampa Bay or Philadelphia.

Gelinas got the eventual winning goal in the second period.

``(Overtime goals) are too hard on my heart,'' he said. ``It was good to get it out of the way early. ... When we started the season, we knew we had a gritty team that worked hard, and our goal was to make the playoffs. To say that we were going to get the Stanley Cup, that's hard to believe.''

Calgary hasn't been in the NHL's final round since winning the Stanley Cup in 1989 _ and the Canadian anthem will be sung in the finals for the first time since Vancouver made it in 1994. A Canadian team hasn't won the Cup since Montreal's victory in 1993.

The party spilled out into the streets in Calgary, where thousands of fans honked horns, waved banners and turned the popular 17th Avenue entertainment district into a parking lot.

Alyn McCauley scored for San Jose, but the best season in franchise history ended with back-to-back losses in the Sharks' first appearance in the conference finals. San Jose also lost its final four home games of the playoffs, running out of energy and focus despite its 104-point regular season and home-ice advantage in every round.

``We just didn't have good luck this time,'' said center Vincent Damphousse, whose career with the Sharks probably is over. ``We've got a lot of breaks in the playoffs, but I guess our luck just ran out.''

Nabokov made 27 saves but lost again to Kiprusoff, his former backup. Kiprusoff arrived in Calgary in a trade last November, and the Flames haven't been the same _ they've been good enough to roar past every Western team with a low-budget roster and an impeccable work ethic.

``You never pictured this in your wildest dreams,'' said Craig Conroy, whose steal of a second-period faceoff set up Gelinas' goal. ``Everything about this season has just been too good to be true.''

The Flames had more jump from the opening faceoff, narrowly missing several scoring chances before Iginla walked in on Nabokov for a power-play goal with 93 seconds left in the first period.

Three minutes after Conroy assisted on Gelinas' goal, McCauley scored San Jose's first goal in approximately 118 minutes _ but that was it for the Sharks, who scored just once in the final seven periods of the series.

Though coach Darryl Sutter rejects the idea of his team representing the nation, try telling that to millions of proud Canadian hockey fans who have transferred their allegiances from the Maple Leafs or the Oilers to Calgary's band of overachievers for the spring.

And never mind that the Flames have a Finnish goalie and two Americans in their regular starting lineup, or that every NHL team has a roster crowded with Canadians: They prefer to root for the home team in the Great White North.

And Sutter never would acknowledge any satisfaction in dispatching the team that fired him just 17 months ago _ but the coach wore a broad smile after his team clinched his first trip to the Stanley Cup finals.

scoring summary
1st Period
18:52
CGY
PPG - Jarome Iginla (10) Snap shot - ASST: Craig Conroy (9), Jordan Leopold (8)
1 - 0 CGY
2nd Period
13:02
CGY
Martin Gelinas (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Craig Conroy (10)
2 - 0 CGY
16:14
SJS
Alyn McCauley (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Nisse Ekman (3), Mike Rathje (5)
2 - 1 CGY
3rd Period
19:59
CGY
EN - Robyn Regehr (2) Slapshot - ASST: NONE
3 - 1 CGY
penalty summary
1st Period
18:27
SJS
Curtis Brown  Hi-sticking against  Marcus Nilson
18:27
SJS
Curtis Brown  Hi-sticking against  Marcus Nilson
2nd Period
04:40
CGY
Oleg Saprykin  Interference - Obstruction against  Todd Harvey
07:03
SJS
Jason Marshall  Holding against  Shean Donovan
09:42
SJS
Kyle McLaren  Tripping against  Ville Nieminen
17:16
CGY
Chris Clark  Interference against  Mike Ricci
3rd Period
07:15
CGY
Robyn Regehr  Hooking against  Vincent Damphousse
goalie stats
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 28TOI: 59:07
Saves: 26EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .929SH: 4 - 4
Miikka Kiprusoff
SA: 19TOI: 60:00
Saves: 18EV: 14 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .947SH: 1 - 1