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Recap: Costly Turnovers Doom The Flames In 3-2 Loss

Mike Smith gave up a late, soft goal after a Flames turnover and Calgary gave the Sharks 2 valuable points.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames 2 San Jose Sharks 3

The Flames once again came out as the better team, but had little to show for it. This game wasn’t pretty by any standards after the first period, but the Sharks took advantage of 2 Flames turnovers and a Mike Smith penalty and came away winners. Aaron Dell proved to be more than up for the task as he stopped 32 of the 34 shots that came his way.

1st Period: Calgary Flames 1 San Jose Sharks 1

If nothing, the first period was crazy entertaining. Each team had multiple scoring chances and the hockey was wide open for the first 20 minutes. The Flames would strike first putting San Jose in a hole to start another game only 4:42 into the opening period. Michael Frolik, one of Calgary’s best forecheckers, stole a puck, cruised in and beat Aaron Dell five hole. The goal was Frolik’s 6th of the season and gave the Flames a 1-0 lead. Calgary would hold the lead for the next 12 until San Jose would capitalize on a turnover. Micheal Ferland would get striped of the puck and Chris Tierney would streak in towards a waiting Mike Smith who would poke check the puck off Tierney’s stick. The only problem was Smith was on his stomach and an easy chip shot awaited Timo Meier. Meier wouldn’t miss, putting in his 4th of the season and we finished the first 20 minutes tied at 1-1.

1st Period Stats

Team Goals SOG PP
Team Goals SOG PP
Flames 1 13 0/1
Sharks 1 9 0/1

2nd Period: Calgary Flames 1 San Jose Sharks 2

The second period was a bit sloppier and each team took turns turning the puck over, but the Sharks would make the Flames pay for a Mike Smith tripping penalty and end the period with a 2-1 lead. Chris Tierney would find himself at the centre of a Sharks scoring chance as he would net a PPG at 10:00 for the only goal of the period. The Flames would squander two PP chances, including a brief 5 on 3 where they didn’t even get a shot on goal. San Jose owned the period and looked like they were about to blow the game open, but Calgary’s 3rd line was able to relieve some of the pressure on Mike Smith with some zone time, but that was it. That was your Flames excitement for the period.

2nd Period Stats

Team Goals SOG PP
Team Goals SOG PP
Flames 0 10 0/2
Sharks 1 14 1/2

3rd Period: Calgary Flames 2 San Jose Sharks 3

The key word for the third period was adjustments. Calgary’s top line was struggling and the red hot 3rd line wasn’t generating much. So to start the period Johnny Gaudreau dropped down to the 3rd line and Sam Bennett moved up to the top line and things clicked. Thanks to a nice hit by Dougie Hamilton the Flames got a turnover and Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway were off to the races. The pair came in a on a 2 on 1 and some hard work by Hathaway kept the puck on his stick and was able to feed Gaudreau a beautiful pass. Gaudreau would gently tap the puck into the back of the net, tying the game at 2-2. Calgary’s lead wouldn’t last long. Johnny Gaudreau would turn the puck over and the Sharks would bring the puck into the Flames zone and Joonas Donskoi’s trickling puck would BARELY cross the line and the Sharks would take a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

3rd Period Stats

Team Goals SOG PP
Team Goals SOG PP
Flames 1 11 0/0
Sharks 1 6 0/0

Final Thoughts

This was a frustrating loss for the Flames. They once again came up empty on the PP, going 0-3, including the aforementioned 5 on 3. They had 2 costly turnovers, both leading to goals and Mike Smith tripping penalty set the Flames PK up for failure as well. Glen Gulutzan’s 3rd period adjustments made the difference and gave Calgary back some of the jump they had to start the game. Calgary needs to correct their sloppy play as the schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming days. The Flames have a Saturday/Sunday back to back and it’s time to right the ship before things get loose and get loose fast.

Flame Of The Game

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Frolik (F). Frolik opened the scoring with his 6th goal of the season and his forechecking was the reason he had a chance to put a puck on net. He was solid as always on the penalty kill tonight and got in those dirty areas to try and get the Flames some scoring chances. Not the prettiest night, but Frolik battled to try and get the Flames a win.

What’s Next?

12/16: Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators 8 PM MT