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Preview: Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks 3/31/17 (78/82)

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The Flames will have another shot to clinch a playoff spot at home tonight against the San Jose Sharks.

Calgary Flames v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
Broadcast Schedule
TV: RSNW, CSCA
Radio: Sportsnet 960

After an ugly display of hockey on Wednesday night the Flames will have yet another chance to clinch a playoff birth with a win over the San Jose Sharks. Both teams come into this contest playing some sloppy hockey, but the Sharks have the advantage of having that all important “x” next to their name. The Flames meanwhile are making this much harder on themselves than it needs to be. They dropped to LA’s level on Wednesday night and got caught in slow, grind it out game which doesn’t match the Flames style and they were beaten soundly 4-1. The Flames are catching the Sharks at the right time however and they can punch their ticket tonight at the Saddledome with a win.

How is now the right time to catch the Sharks? Well, San Jose has stumbled into the playoffs as of late. The Sharks have dropped 7 of their last 8 and seen their foothold at the top of the West disappear. San Jose sits in 3rd place in the Pacific, only 3 points ahead of the Flames coming into tonight’s contest.

This has the POTENTIAL to be a first round playoff match-up depending on how each team finishes the season and as much as the Sharks are stumbling, they aren’t an appetizing option when it comes to being a team you’d like to see in the playoffs. The Flames hold a 70-57-8 all time record against San Jose, but are an even 10-10 in the playoffs when they meet. The Flames are 2-1-0 against the Sharks this season and still have one more contest with San Jose after tonight. Here’s how the teams match-up:

Calgary Flames San Jose Sharks
43-30-4 Record 43-27-7
90 Points 93
4th Pacific Division 3rd Pacific
7th West Conference 5th West
2-3-0 Last 5 1-4-0
208 Goals For 206
206 Goals Against 188
Monahan (26) Goals Pavelski (29)
Gaudreau (59) Points Burns (73)
Tkachuk (105) PIM Haley (110)
Elliott (.911) Save % Dell (.928)
19.8 (12th) PP % 17.1 (24th)
81.2 (12th) PK % 80.8 (16th)
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Player Record GAA Save %
Flames: Elliott (E) 25-15-3 2.51 .911
Sharks: Dell (E) 10-6-1 2.09 .928

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 LA Kings 4

That was ugly, but at least the Flames got it out of the way. Calgary dropped a penalty filled scrum fest to the LA Kings 4-1 on Monday night. Calgary showed they won’t take any garbage from anyone, but the Kings forced their game plan on the Flames and Calgary didn’t have an answer. Here’s our recap, the highlights and Glen Gulutzan’s post game thoughts on the loss.

San Jose Sharks 2 Edmonton Oilers 3

San Jose’s nightmarish end to the regular season continued as they fell to the Oilers 3-2 on Thursday night. Jannik Hansen and Joe Pavelski each scored for San Jose, but it wasn’t enough to get them the win. Fear The Fin has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F). The 19 year old Flames rookie certainly stoked the fire of the Flames/Kings rivalry last week and continued to do so in Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss. Tkachuk wore the target on his back and didn’t shy away from any and all contact with the Kings. It will be interesting to see how he responds against another big, physical team in San Jose. He’ll need to channel his truculence and focus on the task at hand: getting into the playoffs. In 3 games this season against the Sharks Tkachuk has 3 goals and 2 assists.

San Jose Sharks

NHL: New York Islanders at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Jones and Aaron Dell (G). One of these two needs to stop the bleeding for the Sharks. San Jose has been terrible over their last 15 games, recording a record of 6-9-0 as they head into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dell has a record of 3-3-0 and Jones has a shocking 3-6-0 record in the month of March. Dell got the start last time out against the Flames and surrendered 3 goals on 28 shots in the loss.