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Preview: Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks 3/16/18 (72/82): The Must Win Gauntlet Ramps Up With San Jose

The Flames are fighting for their playoff lives and they have a big test tonight against the Sharks.

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

Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: SNW
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The rest of the Flames schedule is EXTREMELY important, but tonight’s clash with the San Jose Sharks is a must win and a potential back breaker when it comes to the playoffs. The Flames are currently out of the playoffs and 5 points behind the Sharks in the Western Conference standings. Calgary’s Wild Card hopes are still alive (barely), but they need a win tonight to keep up with the Kings, Stars and Avalanche who are all ahead of them in the WC race. Calgary gets the Sharks again on March 24th, plus they have Anaheim, Vegas (x2) and the Kings before the season ends, all HUGE games with post season implications. Then again, a loss tonight and depending on what the rest of the West does on Friday, could put a rather large nail into the Flames playoff coffin.

The Sharks meanwhile are in possession of 5th place in the West, but it’s not like it’s a strong hold on the 5 spot. Minnesota and San Jose have the same amount of points (85) and the surging LA Kings are just 3 points back of their division rivals. The Sharks also can’t take Colorado and Dallas lightly either as they are both 1 and 2 points behind San Jose respectively.

San Jose has won 5 of their last 7 after they went on a 3 game losing streak to close out February. Martin Jones has been carrying the load for the Sharks as he’s started 14 of the last 15 games and he’s been solid. The Sharks #1 keeper is 9-4-1 in those 14 games and he’s only had one game where he has allowed more than 3 goals, a 4-2 loss to Columbus back on March 4th.

San Jose has taken both contests so far this season from the Flames, but the Flames are 3-2-0 against the Sharks in their last 5 at the Saddledome. The Western Conference playoff race looks like it’s going to be a photo finish and at least one of these teams will be there at the end. Calgary has a large hill to climb to get in, but they’ve proven, at times this season, that they can reel off victories in chunks when need be. Tonight would be a good place to start.

How They Match Up

Calgary Flames Stats San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames Stats San Jose Sharks
35-26-10 Record 38-23-9
80 Points 85
5th Pacific Division 2nd Pacific
10th West Conference 5th West
3-1-1 Last 5 3-2-0
198 Goals For 207
206 Goals Against 192
Monahan (30) Goals Couture (28)
Gaudreau (80) Points Pavelski (56)
Hathaway (75) PIM Dillon (53)
Smith (.922) Save% Jones (.917)
17.5 (24th) PP% 21.2 (9th)
81.3 (12th) PK% 85.0 (1st)
0-1-1 2017-18 VS 2-0-0
71-60-8 Overall VS 60-71-8

Starting Goalies (E=Expected,C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Smith (E) 24-17-6 2.54 .922
Sharks: Jones (E) 24-18-6 2.48 .917

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

San Jose Sharks Coverage: Fear The Fin

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Edmonton Oilers 0

Calgary finally got the monkey off their back and snapped a 7 game losing skid to their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night. Mike Smith was outstanding in goal and Johnny Gaudreau got the game’s only marker, his 80th point of the season, as the Flames won 1-0. Here’s our recap and the highlights from NHL.com

San Jose Sharks 4 Edmonton Oilers 3 (OT)

The Oilers took another on the chin in a Pacific Division battle as the Sharks scored a 4-3 OT win. This was San Jose’s 3rd win in four tries, lead by Martin Jones and his 25 saves. Fear The Fin has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Gaudreau (F). If the Flames are going to get in, it’s got to be on the stick of their star forward. Gaudreau’s goal on Tuesday night was his second straight game with a tally and his 7th point in his last 5 games. Gaudreau has 1 goal in 2 games vs San Jose this year and he also has 35 points in the Flames 35 home games.

San Jose Sharks

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Jones (G). Jones has been fairly solid in his last 5 starts for the Sharks, He’s gone 3-2-0 whole carrying the load for San Jose. He’s 1-0-0 this season against the Flames with a 32 save performance in a 3-2 OT win.