One goal in 180 minutes isn't exactly a confidence booster heading into Saturday's showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks are dealing with some struggles of their own, but the Sharks are going to have to play a much better game than they did tonight -- and they're going to have score some goals. The plural of goal. More than one goal.
The Sharks started the first period slowly and the Flames capitalized as Lee Stempniak buried a juicy rebound given up by Stalock. San Jose mustered just eight shots in the first frame, and most of them came late as the Sharks found another gear before the end of the period.
Mark Giordano made it 2-0 Flames early on in the second period despite a strong push from the Sharks. Stalock was fooled by a shot that rimmed around to his left and found its way to Giordano's stick. Before Stalock could get back in position, Giordano double Calgary's advantage.
John McCarthy had a great chance go begging late in the second period as the puck trickled all the way across the goal line with Ramo on his back, but neither he nor any of the other Sharks buzzing around the net could poke it in. It perfectly summed up the Sharks offensive drought up to that point.
And finally, after a 160 minute drought, Eriah Hayes scored his first NHL goal to get the Sharks on the board. A nice pass by Tommy Wingels set up Hayes in front of the net with a bit of skating room and the Sharks rookie was able to throw it up over the left shoulder of Karri Ramo.
But just as the Sharks looked like they were going to turn things around, the Flames buried them with a Sean Monahan tally 13 minutes into the third. San Jose was unable to muster anything beyond the lone Hayes goal and Calgary iced the game with an empty-net goal in the final minutes.
- Brent Burns must have caught whatever Logan Couture had during his scoring slump. Burns has over 30 shots in the last 10 games with no goals -- he's shooting at a 10 percent clip this year.
- Alex Stalock had a rough night at the office, giving up three goals on 29 shots. The last two goals were of the Not Great variety, but it's hard to blame a guy who's not getting any goal support.
- Despite having a great possession game last night, the Sharks looked extra lackluster against both the Kings and the Flames this week.
- That doesn't particularly bode well with Chicago coming to town on Saturday -- but the Sharks have a chance to take the season series from the defending cup champions. That's nice.
- Karri Ramo had a damn good night. I wish goalies would stop doing that against the Sharks.
- Boy that Sean Monahan kid is pretty good. How old is he any--19!? Oh, so CALGARY gets to keep their goal-scoring wunderkind while Tomas Hertl is shelled thanks to injury.
- Eriah Hayes with his first NHL goal. That's a nice thing.
- TJ Galiardi looked pretty good tonight, I'm surprised he only has one goal for the Flames this year.
- That game sucked, you guys. Let's never talk about it again.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Karri Ramos
2nd Star: Mikael Backlund
3rd Star: Mark Giordano