Calgary Flames 1 San Jose Sharks 4
The Flames sat only 3 points behind the first place Sharks in the Pacific and came to San Jose looking to close that gap on Tuesday night. Well, now they’re 5 points behind the Sharks as San Jose gave the Flames a severe beating in the second period to put the game away. Read on at your own risk.
The first period was actually a goaltending clinic. Chad Johnson and Martin Jones each took turns robbing the opposition and keeping the score knotted at 0-0. Chad Johnson looked incredibly sharp after getting the night off against the Arizona Coyotes, stopping all 11 shots he faced in the 1st. Calgary was out shot early on in the period, but closed the gap to 11-7 as the period came to an end. While Sean Monahan has been the hottest Flames player, the team’s hottest unit, the PK, continued to play well. Calgary killed off both penalties they took in the period and after 20 minutes we had no score.
The second period found the Sharks smelling blood in the water and they took it to the Flames early. San Jose continued to pepper Chad Johnson at every available opportunity and they capitalized 5 minutes into the period. Patrick Marleau scored his 9th of the season and put the Sharks up 1-0 and the Sharks weren’t done. San Jose defenceman Paul Martin found some space and fired one past Chad Johnson to put the Sharks up 2-0, Joe Thornton picked up his second assist of the night on the goal. From there on out, the Flames appeared to be treading water as the Sharks continued to apply the pressure and it took a bit, but they got more. Joonas Donskoi scored his 3rd of the season by putting the puck into a rather large opening in the net and the Sharks grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Flames it wasn’t going to get any better. Joonas Donskoi came flying off the bench and took an errant clearing pass, raced into the Calgary end and put the Sharks up 4-0. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had great scoring opportunities as the period was winding down, but Martin Jones wasn’t feeling generous and the buzzer mercifully ended the Sharks onslaught, 4-0 at the end of 2.
Coming into the 3rd, the Flames found themselves being out shot 25-18 and they couldn’t do much with the puck for a good chunk of the period. The Flames repeatedly tested Martin Jones, but the former Calgary Hitman netminder was more than up to the task on this night. One positive from the 3rd was Calgary’s continued dominance on the penalty kill. Lance Bouma, Mark Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk each spent time in the bin and the Flames PK unit came up big each time.
The Flames were able to get on the board just as the period started as Sam Bennett would bury one past Jones for the the Flames first and only goal of the contest. Calgary had some very good scoring opportunities towards the end of the period, but as was the case all game, Jones stopped the Flames dead in their tracks.
The loss sends the Flames back in the standings and these were a tough 2 points to cough up. Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau each saw their points per game streaked stopped, but on the positive end, Matthew Tkachuk collected 1 point tonight giving him 18 on the season. Chad Johnson looked strong early, but allowed a few softies and you may see Brian Elliott in net when the Flames return to the ice on Friday against the Canucks.
Flame of The Game
The Flames penalty kill unit. No one individual (although Tkachuk was close) played better than this crew. The Flames put themselves at a disadvantage 5 times during the game and the PK unit managed to kill all 5 in a game that could have been even worse if the PK wasn’t up to snuff.