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Preview: Calgary Flames @ San Jose Sharks 12/20/16 (35/82)

There’s no rest for the Flames as they hop a flight from Arizona to sunny California to face off against the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose Sharks v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images
Calgary Flames @ San Jose Sharks, 8:30 PM MT, SAP Center, San Jose, CA
Broadcast Schedule
Radio: Sportsnet 960

No time to enjoy the win over Arizona as the Flames head right to San Jose for a back to back with the Sharks. The Flames so far this season are 2-5 on the second night of back to back’s and this is a huge game for the Flames as 2 VERY valuable points in the Pacific are up for grabs. The Flames sit only 3 points behind the first place Sharks and a win tonight changes the landscape of the Pacific and the West. Calgary won the first meeting of the season between these two teams back on November 3rd, 3-2.

The Flames got themselves back in the win column on Monday night with a win at Arizona on the back of 3 power play goals. The Flames special teams have been playing out of this world lately and the power play is leading the way. Calgary has scored a PP goal in 10 of their last 15, including 8 straight and Johnny Gaudreau has a point in every game since coming back from his broken finger.

The Sharks are clinging to a precarious 3 point lead over the Flames, but find themselves in a log jam at the top of the Pacific with Anaheim and Edmonton all at 39 points. San Jose has been very steady all season and are 5-3-0 so far in December. The Sharks had an impressive 4 game winning streak going, but that was snapped on Sunday night at the hands of the Blackhawks 4-1. During that streak the Sharks needed a shootout to settle matters twice and they scored 3 or more goals in every win during that streak. The Sharks have struggled against the Flames in San Jose with a 29-34-4 record and are 1-4-0 against the Flames in their last 5 in their own building.

Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames San Jose Sharks
17-15-2 Record 19-12-1
36 Points 39
4th Pacific Division 1st Pacific
7th West Conference 3rd West
3-2-0 Last 5 4-1-0
83 Goals For 78
95 Goals Against 72
Monahan (10) Goals Burns (13)
Gaudreau (21) Points Burns (30)
Johnson (.924) Save % Dell (.926)
18.8 (14th) PP % 17.5 (17th)
79.4 (22nd) PK % 82.1 (14th)

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed) Record GAA Save %
Flames: Johnson (E) 13-6-1 2.22 .924
Sharks: Jones (E) 16-11-1 2.13 .919

Calgary Flames 4 Arizona Coyotes 2

The Flames rolled into Arizona and looked like they forgot to get off the plane for the first period. Calgary settled in as the second period began and as the case has been this season with these two teams, things got rough and got rough often. Calgary overcame the ‘Yotes physical play and got 3 power play goals and killed all 5 of their own penalties to get the 4-2 win. Brian Elliott stopped 25 of 28 shots in his first start in 8 games. Here’s our recap, highlights, Glen Gulutzan and Brian Elliott’s post game thoughts and stats from the contest.

Flames Stats vs Coyotes 12/20/16
Goals Shots Shots Allowed Hits PIM FOW Giveaways Takeaways PP PK
4 28 27 25 17 38/76 6 3 3/6 5/5

San Jose Sharks 1 Chicago Blackhawks 4

The Sharks were riding high on a 4 game winning streak until the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to that run Sunday night with a 4-1 victory over the Sharks. Joe Pavelski got his 11th of the season, but that was all the Sharks could muster. The Sharks peppered Scott Darling with 34 shots, but only one could find the back of the net. Fear The Fin has the full recap of the the loss and provides the highlights.

Players to Watch

NHL: Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames: Kris Versteeg (F). What’s not to love about Kris Versteeg? The Alberta born product has a point in 5 of the 6 games he’s played in this month. He’s quietly creeping up the points list on the Flames with (12) and he’s got 7 points in 6 games so far this month (2G 5A). Versteeg takes an absolute beating on the ice and somehow manages to get back up and keep playing. Versteeg had a 2 point night against the Coyotes, including 1 of Calgary’s 3 PP goals.

San Jose Sharks v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

San Jose Sharks: Joe Pavelski (C). Pavelski is second on the Sharks in points with 28 and goals with 11. He’s had a goal in 3 of the Sharks last 5 games and his production at SAP Center is frightening. Pavelski is a point a game player at home: 14 games, 14 points (4G 10A). Last season against the Flames Pavelski had 4 points in 5 games and had an assist in San Jose’s 3-2 loss to Calgary in November.