It all came down to Jones in net for the Sharks who didn't allow anything through the crease except for a final minute goal that tied the game for the Flames and forced overtime. The Flames played energetic, hard-hitting hockey with a flair that's been lacking most of the season. They have good timing against the Pacific Division 3rd place team.
With Joni Ortio in net and Tyler Wotherspoon back in the lineup as an emergency call-up in place of Jakub Nakladal, the Flames came out strong in the first period. It's always an interesting day in my house when my sons favourite, the San Jose Sharks, take on my Calgary Flames. And my son has now been banned from entering my office during these matchups because as soon as he walked into the room, the Sharks opened the scoring in Calgary. The Flames looked energetic and hungry in the first period. Their power plays looked impressive in spite of no goals. And they had a lot of good chances on net even though Jones stopped everything the home team threw at him. The score was 1-0 after the first 20 minutes.
The Flames 4th line put a lot of pressure on Jones and the Sharks in the offensive zone for most of the period. And that pressure started getting to the opposition. Burns laid a high-stick on Garnet Hathaway that led Hathaway to retaliate and start hitting back. After not much of a tilt, Hathaway ended up with a 10 minute misconduct (among other infractions) and Burns ended up with a high-sticking major (among others) that ended up only being a 2 minute penalty after all the penalties were handed out. After two periods of hockey, the score remained 1-0 Sharks to start the third period.
It was all Jones in the final 20 minutes as the Flames would not let off the gas pedal. Lance Bouma had a perfect shot on an open net but shot wide. And then the pressure went the other way. The Sharks came back with force at Ortio but the Flames net minder refused everything that came at him. With one last powerplay for the Flames, Joe Colborne tipped one in past Jones and tied the game with just over a minute left, forcing overtime. But 19 seconds is all it took for Thornton to carry the puck into the Flames zone and pass it to Burns who saw Pavelski alone in front of the net. Pavelski took a shot and ended the game by a score of 2-1 Sharks.
Flame Of The Game
Joni Ortio. He was focused and tracked the puck like a seasoned pro. He stopped 20 of 22 shots on net. And he needs to be re-signed by the Flames as soon as possible. At the young age of 24, he could be the future of the Calgary Flames.