Calgary
Flames
43-29-10
San Jose
Sharks
51-26-5

32 SOG
42 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CGY
SJS
game recap

Sharks 4, Flames 3

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:14 PM

Associated Press

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Sharks 4, Flames 3
Calgary Flames 3, San Jose Sharks 4

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Jarome Iginla knows the Calgary Flames missed an opportunity to secure a spot in the playoffs, and they're running out of chances.

"The way we looked at it was like a series," Iginla said after the Flames's 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. "We lost the first two games and we have the a chance to go home and clinch it. It's all about winning one game. The whole season comes down to this."

Iginla scored twice and Kristian Huselius added a goal for the Flames, who missed a chance to clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference when Colorado beat Vancouver earlier in the evening.

"They need the points right now," Sharks forward Joe Thornton said. "They are a desperate team right now and those are tough teams to beat. They played well and they came back in the game but we were just too much for them."

The Avalanche drew within three points of Calgary, and have two games remaining - including their season finale against the Flames in Denver on Sunday. Calgary hosts Edmonton on Saturday.

Milan Michalek and Mark Bell scored in a span of 1 minute, 40 seconds in the second period to help the Sharks to win. Mike Grier and Jonathan Cheechoo scored for the Sharks in the final period.

Less than 3 minutes into the third period, Grier scored his 11th career goal against the Flames - his most against any team. Cheechoo scored an insurance goal 3 minutes later. It was his 11th goal in the last eight games.

The Sharks solidified their hold on the fifth spot in the playoffs and set a franchise record with 106 points. San Jose reached the milestone with its fifth straight victory.

The Sharks are 13-1-2 in their last 16 games, while the Flames lost for just the second time in eight games and saw their four-game road winning streak end.

"We expected them to come at us hard," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We came out on top when it came to physicality. That's the type of game I want our young guys to experience right now. If we want to win the cup those are the type of games to expect in the Western Conference."

After winning its game against St. Louis, Nashville remained in control of fourth place in the playoff picture. The Sharks are in control of fifth and would begin the playoffs on the road against Predators.

If Nashville should lose its final game and Sharks win, San Jose would finish fourth because it holds the tiebreaker. San Jose holds a three-point lead over sixth-place Dallas. The Stars have two games remaining while Sharks have one.

San Jose dominated action in the first period but couldn't break through against Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Michalek gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead 8 minutes into the second period, aided by Thornton's 89th assist. He added his 90th on Cheechoo's goal.

"I have had a lot of good players to pass the puck to, that is all that means," Thornton said. " Just playing with good players. Giving it to Cheech and to Milan and other guys."

Thornton joined Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemeiuex as the only players in NHL history with back-to-back 90-assist seasons.

"It is flattering," Thornton said. "You don't think about getting 90 assists per year and it just sort of comes and you have to play with the right people but it is obviously flattering to be mentioned with those guys."

Mark Bell caught Kiprusoff leaning the other way less than 2 minutes later to give the Sharks a 2-0 edge. Patrick Marleau took a shot from above the right faceoff circle and Bell was in position for the rebound.

"This was a tough loss because it was a huge game," Kiprusoff said. "He didn't bring our best. Now all we can do is win the next one."

After a timeout was called by Calgary's coach Jim Playfair, the Flames scored their first goal when Kristian Huselius tallied his 34th goal of the season.

Notes: Flames D Robyn Regehr suffered a leg injury during the second period and didn't return. ... Calgary D Brad Stuart topped 300 career penalty minutes when he was assessed two minors. ... Wilson moved into 11th place for games coached with his 1,008th, breaking a tie with Jacques Demers. ... The Sharks began the day tied with Montreal for the best power-play percentage in the league at 22.6 percent. ... Iginla has 15 goals and 25 assists in his last 25 games. ... Michalek has scored four of his 25 goals against the Flames. ... The Sharks' 42 shots matched a season high.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
07:50
SJS
Milan Michalek (25) Slapshot - ASST: Matthew Carle (31), Joe Thornton (89)
1 - 0 SJS
09:30
SJS
Mark Bell (11) Slapshot - ASST: Joe Pavelski (13), Patrick Marleau (45)
2 - 0 SJS
10:18
CGY
PPG - Kristian Huselius (34) Tip-in - ASST: Dion Phaneuf (33), Jarome Iginla (55)
2 - 1 SJS
3rd Period
02:29
SJS
Michael Grier (16) Slapshot - ASST: Curtis Brown (12), Kyle McLaren (12)
3 - 1 SJS
05:42
SJS
Jonathan Cheechoo (36) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Thornton (90), Milan Michalek (39)
4 - 1 SJS
10:49
CGY
Jarome Iginla (38) Wrist shot - ASST: Brad Stuart (14)
4 - 2 SJS
15:34
CGY
Jarome Iginla (39) Slapshot - ASST: Alex Tanguay (57), Daymond Langkow (44)
4 - 3 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
01:23
SJS
Mark Bell  Hooking against  Alex Tanguay
03:08
SJS
Curtis Brown  Hooking against  Matthew Lombardi
06:24
CGY
Rhett Warrener  Hooking against  Jonathan Cheechoo
10:43
CGY
Brad Stuart  Tripping against  Milan Michalek
16:31
SJS
Joe Pavelski  Slashing against  Dion Phaneuf
18:28
CGY
Roman Hamrlik  Hooking against  Curtis Brown
2nd Period
03:19
CGY
David Moss  Too many men/ice - bench
04:16
CGY
Brad Stuart  Slashing against  Jonathan Cheechoo
06:33
CGY
Dion Phaneuf  Interference against  Ryane Clowe
06:33
SJS
Ryane Clowe  Elbowing against  Dion Phaneuf
10:09
SJS
Patrick Marleau  Boarding against  David Moss
13:33
SJS
Evgeni Nabokov  Hooking against  Tony Amonte
18:50
CGY
Jeff Friesen  Slashing against  Marc-Edouard Vlasic
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Miikka Kiprusoff
SA: 42TOI: 58:33
Saves: 38EV: 29 - 33
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .905SH: 0 - 0
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 29EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 2PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .906SH: 1 - 1