The Calgary Flames were looking for retribution against the San Jose Sharks last night at the Saddledome after the Sharks took the first win of the series on November 28th with a 5-2 win. With Karri Ramo in net, the game started out well. Luckily, the Flames evened the series and the Flames fans have renewed faith in the team after 7 consecutive home wins.
The first period started quickly when Markus Granlund proved his worth by opening the scoring after a sweet pass by Jiri Hudler roughly two minutes into the period. It didn't take long for the Sharks to even the score, but that didn't deter the Flames. It felt good to finally be able to say the Calgary Flames scored on the power play when Sean Monahan scored a huge goal that put the home team up by one again. When the Sharks scored again, Bob Hartley challenged, but the goal stood and it was a tie game again. Ramo stood tall in net and he was focused on the puck all game long.
The score was tied at 2-2 heading into the second period, but it didn't last long as Michael Frolik scored to give the Flames a lead again. When the Flames scored another goal, the Sharks bench had had enough and challenged it, claiming offside. The goal was called off and the Flames remained up by only one. The Flames put some pressure on the Sharks, but San Jose wouldn't let one squeak by. Calgary was relentless in the later part of the period and they played good hockey, as though they really wanted the overturned goal back. It finally paid off when Mikael Backlund buried one and the Flames were up 4-2 to end the period.
Calgary came out swinging in the final 20 minutes, the pressure was put on San Jose early and the Flames didn't give up. Granlund had another chance at the net, but the flurry of big-bodied defensemen stoned his scoring chances. I understand the logic behind every other team wanting to slash away at Gaudreau's hands, but the non-calls every game are getting old. This time it was Burns who took a shot at Johnny and it went unnoticed. Ladislav Smid and Deryk Engelland, looking for payback, ended up shoving and pushing enough in the Flames zone that it landed Smid in the penalty box for 2 minutes. But that didn't stop the Calgary defense from standing up and taking control to ward off San Jose from scoring. I think it was the best period of defense I've seen all season from Karri Ramo. His positioning was good and he sacrificed his body to make every save. It was well worth the effort as the San Jose Sharks fell 4-2 to the Calgary Flames.
Flame Of The Game
I've been waiting a long time to be able to say this because I'm a goalie lover...The Flame Of The Game goes to Karri Ramo! With a save percentage of .939 and 31 saves on 33 shots on net, Ramo held his position well and did everything in his power to keep Calgary from losing. He made unorthodox saves, held onto the rebounds as much as possible, and defended his turf to his highest potential. That is the type of goaltending that the Flames need right now and I hope he can keep up the amazing effort he displayed against the Sharks. If so, the Flames would not only have their permanent starting goalie but find themselves in a playoff run.
The Flames host Evander Kane, Jack Eichel, and the rest of the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.