The good news: The Sharks are going to the playoffs!
The bad news: They lost in a shootout to the Calgary Flames.
After winning seven straight skills competitions, the Sharks have now dropped two in a row after failing to score a single goal in the shootout against Calgary. Alex Stalock allowed his first goal in the shootout this season, giving Mike Cammalleri the game winner.
Despite going to the shootout again, the Sharks put in a strong performance in the odd number periods tonight. They outshot the Flames 34-27 and led in Fenwick 52-34. Observe the chart.
Hoo boy that's a lot of fenwicks for the Sharks. But fenwicks don't win games, goals win games, and the Sharks only scored once. It was a James Sheppard tally at the end of the first period that gave San Jose their one and only lead of the night.
Stalock made a pretty good save midway through the second and the Sharks were able to scramble it out of harms way to keep the Flames off the board.
The lead lasted nearly 20 minutes before Joe Colborne tied things up after a beautiful play from the Flames. Some nifty passing in the Sharks' zone gave Colborne a wide open net and he took advantage. The Sharks put on a clinic in the third period, outshooting the Flames 10-5 in the final frame. Karri Ramo stood tall as he stopped 33 of the 34 pucks thrown his way.
Stalock was similarly impressive, as he made 26 saves on the night; but the Sharks couldn't convert on their two power play chances or 33 of their 34 shots to squeeze a second goal out of this game. Now they will try to avoid making their two game losing streak a three gamer as they head into Edmonton tomorrow.
- James Sheppard played a great game tonight. He scored the Sharks' only goal, played 17 minutes and was a major factor every time he was on the ice.
- Brad Stuart played for the first time in (seemingly) forever and looked...pretty good, actually. He denied the Flames on at least one grade-A scoring chance and made a couple of nifty places in the offensive zone. I'm not saying this is a sign of things to come, but it would be nice.
- The Sharks are going to the playoffs for the tenth-straight season, which I'll admit feels pretty old-hat at this point. That being said, it's a great achievement that the organization should be proud of. The season we all care about is coming up quick!
- Logan Couture took a puck to the ankle late in the first period and was not on the bench to start the second. He ended up playing one shift in the middle frame in which he made a great defensive play to save a goal. He then went back to the dressing room and wasn't heard from again. It's Lower Body Injury Time!
- Update: Todd McLellan says Couture "is fine," but that he may not play tomorrow. So, who knows.
- Dan Boyle threw five pucks at the net tonight, which is a welcome sight given his Not Phenomenal play this season. He's not going to be a fun topic this offseason, but the Sharks could really use him on top of his game come playoff time.
- The Sharks have lost three of the four games James Sheppard has scored in. Thanks to @atrodorsus for that Sheppard Fan Club Fact.
- If you are interested in such things, I will be on TSN 1260 tomorrow at 10:25 a.m. PST to talk about the Sharks/Oilers game. If you do not live in the Edmonton area, you can listen here.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Karri Ramo
2nd Star: Alex Stalock
3rd Star: James Sheppard