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Game 54 Preview: Flames at Sharks; More Than One Goal, Please

The San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames play each other for the third time in the last couple weeks. In both of the previous matchups, the Flames attempted to play a strong shut-down game. Also in both games, the Flames lack of attack ended up costing them points as 3rd period goals in both games for the Sharks helped them to two wins - and the Flames, instead of leaving those two games with 2 or maybe even 3 points, settled for 1.

Since the 1-0 loss at the 'dome where the Flames waited too long to muster an attack, the team has played a little bit stronger in terms of turning their strong defensive play in to opportunities at the other end. It hasn't added up to wins yet as they've played some pretty staunch opposition but should they continue to build on that sort of play, it should start to result in more wins.

Tonight, the Sharks will look to try and pull a little further away from the pack in the Pacific division and the Flames remain in the all-out battle for a playoff spot.

Projected Lines for the Flames:

Alex Tanguay-Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla
Mike Cammalleri-Blair Jones-Krys Kolanos
Blake Comeau-Mikael Backlund-Lance Bouma
Tom Kostopoulos-Matt Stajan-Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester-Chris Butler
Mark Giordano-Scott Hannan
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich

Miikka Kiprusoff

- Flames are 5-3-2 in their last 10. They've outscored their opponents 22-18 during that stretch which means they've given up just 1.8 goals against per game during that time.

- Sharks are 5-4-1 in their last 10.

- The Flames are 3 points out of 8th place. The Wild currently occupy 8th and are on pace for 90 points. In order to get 90 points the Flames would need to finish 16-10-3.

- Everyone's favorite grinder second-liner Blair Jones has played 11 games with the Flames, 1 goal 2 assists for 3 points and +2.

- MIikka Kiprusoff has been light's out of late.

- on the season, he's 23-17-4, 2.29 GAA, .920 sv%, .928 EVsv%

- Kipper is one win shy of 300 for his career. He has 285 as a Flame.

- On the road, 9-9-3, 2.46 GAA, .917 sv% ... Against the Pacific division, 2-2-2, 1.28, .953 sv% ... In his last game in San Jose, Kipper got the SO loss and played a very solid game.

The Flames have proven they can keep other teams off the scoresheet of late but they're having trouble scoring goals of their own. They win tonight if they can keep the score low and draw more than 1 or 2 power-plays. Their first unit has been generating lots of chances lately. In the last game in San Jose, the Flames didn't have a single PP opportunity.