The red hot Sharks (25-15-2) offense couldn’t keep it’s momentum and dropped tonight’s match-up with the Flames in thw 18th minute of play 3-2. San Jose came into the Calgary’s (23-19-2) famous ScotiaBank Saddle Dome scoring 15 goals in their last three contests and on the heels of putting together back-to-back 5+ goal games—after notably failing to do so in their first 39 games of this 2016-17 campaign.
After facing a total of 71 shots in the last pair of games against the Oilers and Red Wings, newly anointed All-Star goaltender Martin Jones got a much needed night off in lieu of his more than capable backup Aaron Dell in tonight’s second game of a short two game back-to-back sprint to Alberta, Canada. The break for Jones was more than welcome for Dell who was given the opportunity to play in front of his hometown crowd as he grew up in nearby Airdrie, Alberta. Coming into the evening Dell sported a 4-1 record in his first five starts along with an impressive 1.78 GAA.
A confusing early lineup mishap that disqualified Mirco Mueller from the nights action and left San Jose shorthanded on defense the rest of the evening, the Sharks struck early at the 9:40 mark of the first period on their first power play opportunity of the night. Brent Burns ripped a hard shot-pass from up high to Logan Couture who cleanly redirected the puck home through Flames goalie Chad Johnson’s five-hole.
Calgary answered back quickly with a hard-luck Michael Frolik goal. Frolik, who was in the penalty box for the Sharks first tally, tapped the puck in for a redemption goal that fell to the left of a tied up Aaron Dell who couldn’t sprawl over to make the save in time.
In the dwindling minutes of the opening period, Brent Burns ripped a seeing-eye-shot from the boards over Johnson’s far shoulder who was screened by both Melker Karlsson and Mikkel Boedker to give him his 13th multi-point game of the season at just the 16:06 mark of the first. Burns leads defensemen and trails only Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid who have 14 and 15 multi-point games respectively. Just in case the Norris Trophy voters are reading this and skimming this quick bite I’ll say it again: Brent Burns trails only Sidney “the face-of-the-NHL” Crosby and Connor “the wunderkind” McDavid in multi-point games this season. #MicDrop.
After a tightly contested second period Brendan Dillon took a bad holding penalty right in front of the referee at the 18 minute mark and put the Flames on their first power play of the evening. Halfway through the power play, Matthew Tkachuk evened up the game with a jumping deflection that ricocheted off his stick and between his legs to beat Dell.
Aaron Dell kept the game tied for his club with the save of the night that occurred at the halfway point of the third period. A Matt Stajan shot popped off his chest and then reached way back for a toe save on the wide open rebound shot by Tkachuk who was gunning for his second goal of the game. Dell was able to corral the rebound created by Tkachuk’s shot amid a flurry of Flames’ sticks to end the scoring threat.
One, two, three Dell-icious saves! pic.twitter.com/0HLPZ2SzUX— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 12, 2017
Mikkel Boedker had a chance to continue his hot streak as he was held by TJ Brodie on a breakaway that resulted in a penalty shot. Boedker still winded by his prior breakaway couldn't get nearly enough elevation on his backhand shot over Johnson’s leg pad as he drove deep into the crease from the right side boards.
The Flames would take the lead for the first time in the game and for good on a Dougie Hamilton shot from the point that beat Aaron Dell, who was screened just enough. Mikkel Boedker nearly evened the game up with a shorthanded breakaway seven seconds remaining on the clock but Chad Johnson ultimately came up with the save to sink the Sharks hopes of overtime.
- Tim Heed made his NHL debut tonight, replacing the injured Dylan DeMelo, after scoring 31 points for the San Jose Barracuda; good for second on the AHL club. Heed also leads the AHL in goals by a defensemen with 9.
- Mirco Mueller was disqualified from the game after a lineup mishap that our always-on-top-of-things blog manager Jake explains here.
- Sharks go down 2-1 in the season series against the Flames. Next matchup will be on March 30th.
Fear the Fin’s Three Stars of the Game
- Matthew Tkachuk
- Chad Johnson
- Brent Burns
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