Red-Hot Flames Stifle Struggling San Jose Sharks


Jan 30, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames right wing Lee Stempniak (22) scores a goal as San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock (32) guards his net during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks (34-15-6, 74 points) fell to the Calgary Flames (20-27-7, 47 points) by the final score of 4-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in what was the second game of a back-to-back set in the Canadian province of Alberta. The offense is clearly having trouble scoring at this point as they have only put up one goal in their last three games.

Since this was San Jose’s third game in four nights head coach Todd McLellan decided to move a few fresher legs back into the lineup. He added Matt Irwin, Jon McCarthy, and James Sheppard to go along with Alex Stalock who was coming off of a losing effort in which he only allowed one goal. Stalock did what he could, but just like Antti Niemi the night before, the goaltender can’t help score goals.

The lone bright spot this evening came at the start of the third period when rookie Eriah Hayes scored his first career NHL goal on a one-timer from point-blank range with the assist going to Patrick Marleau. Tommy Wingels set the whole thing up when he forced a takeaway in the slot and initially found the open Marleau at the side of the net. Hayes’ goal, which cut the Calgary lead to 2-1, was all the San Jose Sharks would get. On the plus side, it ended the third-longest goalless streak in Sharks history, so there’s that.

Afterward the Flames would add two goals, one each form outstanding rookie Sean Monahan on a nice tip-in goal with seven minutes left in the game and an empty netter from Jiri Hudler after the Sharks pulled Stalock.

The Flames started the game strong as well and you could tell were able to take advantage of what looked like a fatigued San Jose Sharks club. Calgary opened the scoring with just about 10 minutes left in the first period on a goal by Lee Stempniak on a rebound opportunity. After an initial shot by Mikael Backlund, Stempniak just headed to the net and was not tied up properly by Dan Boyle who was in the vicinity.

The Sharks’ best period all night was the second where they managed to outshoot the Flames 13-8 in the second, though Karri Ramo was great in net and did not allow San Jose anything. His strong second-period play is what made the difference, and in the end the Flames took the 4-1 victory.

GGS 3 Stars
1. Karri Ramo (27 saves)
2. Mikael Backlund (2 assists, 2 shots, +1)
3. Mark Giordano (1 goal, 2 shots, 2 hits, +2)