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Flames 3, Sharks 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:50 AM

San Jose Sharks Staff

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Flames 3, Sharks 2
Calgary Flames 3, San Jose Sharks 2

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks dropped Game 1 of their opening round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, 3-2, despite two goals from Ryane Clowe.

Between the pipes were two of the NHL’s most played netminders in Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff. San Jose was without the services of Christian Ehrhoff on the blueline and Alexei Semenov jumped into his spot.



Just 2:47 in, Calgary jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Taking a faceoff win in their offensive zone, a point shot was fired by Robyn Regehr and Stephane Yelle was parked to the side and tipped it in.

San Jose faced a shorthanded situation just five minutes in when the referee thought Kyle McLaren highsticked a Flames forward. It took only 15 seconds for Jarome Iginla to find Dion Phaneuf across the crease and San Jose was down 2-0.

Team Teal was not about to sit back and sulk about the early deficit and quickly responded. One minute later, Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau used his speed to draw his defender toward him and Kiprusoff out of the crease.

When Marleau came out the backside of the net, he fed a wide open Ryane Clowe and the Newfoundlander banged the puck home, closing the gap to one.

San Jose was awarded their first power play when Clowe was hauled down chasing a loose puck near the midway point of the first, but they could not pull even.

At the 7:35 mark, Kiprusoff could not handle a shot and a scrum ensued for the loose puck with Clowe, Marleau and Pavelski looking for the chip in, but Calgary found the puck first.

Both clubs settled down defensively later in the first period and the stanza finished with Calgary up 2-1, thanks in part of a huge poke check by Nabokov with 30 seconds left.

Four and a half minutes into the second, Calgary had a prime scoring chance when Calgary jumped on a loose puck in the offensive zone, but Nabokov was able to challenge David Moss, forcing the puck to ring off the post.

San Jose was outshooting the Flames six to one in the first 10 minutes of the second, but had not found the tying goal.

Calgary Flames left wing Alex Tanguay (40) is unable to score past San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20), of Kazakhstan, in the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series, Wednesday, April 9, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
With 6:27 left in the second, Phaneuf lined up Clowe for an open ice hit, but instead of the usual happening for the Calgary blueliner, Clowe completely absorbed the blow. Clowe was given a subsequent minor for interference, but Team Teal killed the penalty.

As the clock wound down under four minutes, Calgary stretched their lead to two. Jarome Iginla stripped the puck from an on rushing Shark and skated down just ahead of Brian Campbell. Iginla was able to turn the corner get a shot on Nabokov. The Sharks Vezina candidate did his job and stopped the initial effort, but Yelle was there to knock in the rebound. The play went upstairs for video review, but the ruling stood that the puck went in before the net went off its moorings.

The second period would conclude with Calgary up 3-1.

Just 30 seconds into the third, it looked like San Jose would close the gap when Joe Thornton jumped on a loose puck and skated in on a breakaway. He beat Kiprusoff, but the shot rang off the left post.

San Jose continued to attack offensively and with 16:42 left in regulation, Jim Vandermeer was forced into a holding penalty and the Sharks took to the power play. Once again they controlled the zone, but could not find the tally while up a man. As the clock wound down to the 12:20 count, San Jose had registered 30 shots, but only the one goal.

The Sharks rally hopes were dimmed a bit when Kyle McLaren was given a questionable crosschecking penalty on Iginla with 8:37 remaining.

As the clock wound down, San Jose pulled Nabokov for the extra attacker with 1:22 left. They quickly found success as Thornton set up Clowe in the slot. Clowe’s first shot was rebuffed, but Clowe quickly pumped in the rebound to make it a one-goal game.

The Sharks will not have to wait long for redemption. The two teams will square off again tomorrow night for Game 2.

LINES
Michalek-Thornton-Cheechoo
Marleau-Pavelski-Clowe
Rissmiller-Mitchell-Grier
Roenick-Brown-Shelley

Murray-Campbell
McLaren-Rivet
Vlasic-Semenov

Nabokov-Boucher

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will host the Flames on Thursday night at 7 p.m. with the game on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.



From the AP Wire

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Something about the teal jerseys, the white pompoms and the Shark Tank's earsplitting crowd inspires fantastic hockey from Stephane Yelle and his teammates.

 

Yes, nobody loves a playoff game in San Jose more than the Calgary Flames, who got off to another fine start against their favorite postseason hosts.

Yelle scored two goals, Miikka Kiprusoff made 37 saves and the seventh-seeded Flames stunned the NHL's second-best regular season team in their first-round opener, beating the Sharks 3-2 Wednesday night.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet, center, comes out during player introductions before the start of an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series against the Calgary Flames in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, April 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dion Phaneuf also scored a power-play goal for the Flames, who kicked off the best-of-seven Western Conference series with their fourth straight postseason win in San Jose. Calgary got three opportunistic goals and made a late defensive scramble to hang on for a win that's sure to start stomachs churning in the oft-disappointed rink that the Flames love to silence.

"It's a long grind, and you need bounces, you need luck," said Yelle, who hadn't scored a goal since Jan. 22. "Those are key to get far in the playoffs."

Game 2 is Thursday night.

The Sharks' 108-point regular season and No. 2 seed were forgotten when the Flames went ahead 2-0 in the first 5:17 of yet another big victory in San Jose, where Calgary swept all three of its games in the 2004 Western Conference finals - the last playoff series the Flames won. Calgary also won two of its three games in San Jose during the 1995 playoffs, giving the Flames six wins in seven postseason games at the Shark Tank.

"We earned this game," Flames forward Craig Conroy said. "We have a lot of players here who have done well in this building, guys who were here in the 2004 playoffs. We came in here, the building was alive, and we took the building out of it early. We know it will be harder tomorrow, but now they have more pressure on them."

Yelle, the two-time Stanley Cup winner who managed just one playoff point against the Sharks four years ago, capitalized on a deflection and a rebound in the first multigoal game of his 148 career postseason appearances.

Ryane Clowe scored two goals as San Jose outshot Calgary 39-23, but the Flames generated three scores in the first 40 minutes and then held on after Clowe's second goal with 56 seconds to play. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 20 shots for the Sharks, who hadn't lost a home game in regulation since Feb. 14.

San Jose's rocky playoff start was disturbingly familiar to its fans, who have watched their talented Sharks crash out of the playoffs' second round in two straight springs. San Jose had 108 points in the regular season, finishing behind only Detroit after a 20-game streak without a regulation defeat from mid-February to early April.

"I thought we came out with the right intentions, but maybe we were kind of tight, and they were really hungry," Clowe said. "We definitely have to be more hungry, more of that dog-with-a-bone mentality. Overall, they wanted it more."

Calgary Flames center Stephane Yelle (7) is congratulated by teammates after scoring on San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20), of Kazakhstan, in the first period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series, Wednesday, April 9, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Joe Thornton, who had just one assist against Phaneuf and the Flames in four regular-season meetings, was shut down until he set up Clowe's second goal from behind the net. The NHL's fifth-leading scorer also hit the post on a breakaway chance in the opening minute of the third period.

"You want to win every game, so allow us five minutes to be disappointed, and just get ready for tomorrow, because we play right away," Thornton said.

With hard-hitting veterans and a sturdy defense, the Flames are built like the Sharks of old - no surprise, since former San Jose coach Darryl Sutter runs Calgary's hockey operations. Calgary came out intent on hitting the Sharks hard, finishing their checks and creating contact to follow the game plan established by Edmonton and Detroit in San Jose's last two postseason losses.

The Flames went ahead when Yelle nimbly deflected Robyn Regehr's slap shot past Nabokov just 2:47 in, and after Kyle McLaren took a penalty, Phaneuf added a power-play goal that quieted the Shark Tank.

"When you can defuse that enthusiasm by scoring early, especially on the road, it definitely helps," said Calgary coach Mike Keenan, who won his first playoff game since 1996.

San Jose recovered 49 seconds after Phaneuf's score when Clowe banged a pass from captain Patrick Marleau past Kiprusoff, who was woefully out of position. The goal was Clowe's first since his recent return from a knee injury that kept him out for all but 15 games of the regular season.

Aside from Kristian Huselius' deflected shot off the crossbar early in the second period, Calgary generated almost no offensive chances after its initial outburst, playing more than 20 minutes with just two shots.

Yet the Flames went up 3-1 late in the period when Jarome Iginla stole the puck from the flat-footed Brian Campbell and broke away down the right side. Yelle potted the rebound as Iginla knocked the net off the moorings, and the goal was upheld after an extensive video review.

Notes: San Jose D Alexei Semenov suited up in place of Christian Ehrhoff, who has an undisclosed injury. Wilson said Matt Carle and rookie Devin Setoguchi are likely to be in the Sharks' lineup for Game 2, but Ehrhoff probably isn't ready. ... Sharks C Torrey Mitchell, D Doug Murray and enforcer Jody Shelley all made their NHL playoff debuts. ... Phaneuf turns 22 on Thursday.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:47
CGY
Stephane Yelle (1) ASST: Robyn Regehr (1)
1 - 0 CGY
05:17
CGY
PPG - Dion Phaneuf (1) ASST: Daymond Langkow (1), Jarome Iginla (1)
2 - 0 CGY
06:06
SJS
Ryane Clowe (1) ASST: Patrick Marleau (1), Joe Pavelski (1)
2 - 1 CGY
2nd Period
16:21
CGY
Stephane Yelle (2) ASST: Jarome Iginla (2)
3 - 1 CGY
3rd Period
19:03
SJS
Ryane Clowe (2) ASST: Joe Thornton (1), Brian Campbell (1)
3 - 2 CGY
penalty summary
1st Period
05:02
SJS
Kyle McLaren  Hi-sticking against  Kristian Huselius
08:27
CGY
Cory Sarich  Tripping against  Ryane Clowe
2nd Period
13:33
SJS
Ryane Clowe  Interference against  Dion Phaneuf
3rd Period
03:18
CGY
Jim Vandermeer  Holding against  Jonathan Cheechoo
11:23
SJS
Kyle McLaren  Cross checking against  Jarome Iginla
goalie stats
Miikka Kiprusoff
SA: 39TOI: 60:00
Saves: 37EV: 29 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .949SH: 0 - 0
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 23TOI: 58:49
Saves: 20EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0