It was a must-win for the Calgary Flames to be semi-successful. With Jonas Hiller in net for the first time since late October, the Flames took on the San Jose Sharks in the last game of their road trip. Mason Raymond, Ladislav Smid, and Brandon Bollig were scratched while Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler were in the starting line-up.
With a less than successful first period, Hiller was tested early and held out for the first half of the opening frame. He could only hold on for just under the ten minute mark when the Sharks opened the scoring. I don't know where the chemistry from last year went but the Calgary team doesn't have it this year. The Sharks dumped another puck at Hiller, which squeaked through and the score was 2-0 going into the second.
Much like the first period, the following 20 minutes were not good for the Flames. Dougie Hamilton had a good couple chances on the Sharks net during the power play, but he couldn't finish it. Gio had a couple good shots as well, but no one could break Martin in the home net. Two Flames power plays and not one goal. So when the Sharks were handed a power play when Deryk Engelland got sent to the box, it didn't take long for Dennis Wideman to join his defensive partner and that's when the home team struck gold. They scored on both power plays and the period ended with a score of 4-0.
So the third period was a little better in effort for the Flames, but it just wasn't enough. Joe Colborne gets the credit for keeping the Flames awake in the beginning of the final period when he dropped the mitts with Mueller. It was quick and didn't amount to much, but it got the visiting team moving and created some effort which resulted in a goal from Markus Granlund to break the shutout. But it didn't take long for the Sharks to bite back with another goal. With just over a minute left to play, Michael Ferland notched another goal that ended the game with a 5-2 San Jose win.
Flame Of The Game
Joe Colborne. He provides a big screen during power plays and he's a big body who doesn't give up a lot of space on the ice. And the fight with Mueller made me cheer for the first time during the game even though it didn't amount to much. I still give Colborne a passing grade for effort and emotion against the Sharks.