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Sharks 5, Flames 7: A good first period falls flat as Calgary bounces back

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The Sharks went firefighting for the first time this preseason and the Flames were too hot to handle.

Mar 16, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Micheal Ferland (79) scores a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. San Jose Sharks won 7-4. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

In possibly the final time this preseason that we get a glimpse of the Sharks’ somewhat bright future, the boys dropped a high-scoring affair against the Calgary Flames by the score of 7-5.

The Sharks jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the first period, but a less-than-decent defensive performance saw that lead evaporate in the second and third periods. Johnny Gaudreau, in particular, killed the defense, scoring two goals tonight.

Interestingly, Peter DeBoer went against his typical preseason tactics and swapped out Aaron Dell for Antoine Bibeau a little bit past the halfway point of the second period.

It’ll be right back home tomorrow for the Sharks as the Flames will once again join them in preseason action, this time at the Tank, and, perhaps, with a more NHL-ready roster on Thursday night.

Pregame

For the first time this preseason, the San Jose Sharks will cross the border for a preseason match up against the Calgary Flames.

Tonight, the Flames look to be slowly getting their main roster into preseason action, with David Rittich getting the nod in net. Meanwhile, the Sharks are still turning to their younger players four games into the preseason, with Aaron Dell expected to start tonight for Team Teal.

You can listen to a Sharks broadcast of tonight’s game courtesy of the great people at KFOX. If you’re in the Calgary broadcasting area, they will be streaming video on the Flames’ website.

Rosters

“Dealin” Doug Wilson decided to juke out the CBA rules this morning, calling 14 players recently assigned to Barracuda training camp back up to the big camp, which might explain the kid lines today. This might be the last time this preseason that the kids are going to be let loose, as Kevin Kurz of the Athletic expects a full NHL roster on Thursday night, including our new king, Erik Karlsson.

First Period

20:00: What’s up guys? It’s Bryan here, let’s get this game underway!

18:06: That didn’t take long, Max Letunov is sent off for tripping.

13:40: Seems like no video stream is working from what I know, so I may have to rely on the audio stream here. Bear with me.

13:37: Canes castaway Noah Hanifin is heading to the sin bin for a holding call against Alex True.

10:00: Good to see, or hear, Sasha Fierce and Jeremy Roy out there after having been sitting in the press box for the first three games.

8:53: SHAAAAAAARKS goal! Barclay Goodrow with a breakaway opportunity makes the most of it as he puts it past David Rittich for the 1-0 lead!

7:50: MATTHEW! Hands off our Merkley! I couldn’t see the play, and I’m gonna guess you guys couldn’t either, but it sounded like Ryan took a big spill on the tripping call. He seems okay, though, and the Sharks will head to a power play.

7:42: SHAAAAAAAARKS goal! It’s that man again! Rourke Chartier scores the Sharks’ first power play goal of the preseason campaign off a great play from the aforementioned Ryan Merkley, and it’s a 2-0 lead!

7:04: Flames answer back. 2-1 Sharks lead.

6:56: SHAAAAAAARKS goal! Dan Rusanowsky said it best- “What in the knick knack paddywhack give a dog a bone is going on here?!” Eight seconds later, Lukas Radil puts it in the net for the Sharks, and now it’s 3-1! Oh my goodness!

4:27: The streams seem to be working now, thankfully.

3:53: We have a mad scramble in front of the net, and maaaaaybe a goal? Nope, it’s called off for goaltender interference.

3:52: Well, now Peter DeBoer has thrown his red flag, and the Sharks will challenge the call on the ice.

Ol’ Blasty jersey alert!

...and about 2 minutes later, the call is no goal.

3:42: SHAAAAAARKS goal! It’s Mad Maxim Letunov! What a backhand shot after a great feed from Vincent Praplan! Expect to see that a lot during ‘Cuda games! 4-1 and we’re not even out of the first period!

3:13: Alex True will be sent off for hooking.

2:48: And now Michael Frolik is heading to the box for high-sticking.

2:26: Oh, so we’re trading penalties now instead of goals? Hm.

They just showed a Seinfeld clip on the jumbotron and now my levels of respect for Calgary have dramatically increased.

END FIRST: Sharks 4, Flames 1

What an incredibly bizarre game to come home to.

The emergence of Rourke Chartier is just an amazing story to me. At this point six months ago, I had doubts that he would ever play pro hockey again. Now, he’s completely lighting it up in preseason, and may very well earn that fourth center role.

After seeing an ad for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen on the Flames stream, I was wondering if the Sharks would step up their marketing for the Barracuda next year and sure enough, Dan was talking about the Barracuda in reference to Rourke Chartier. Good stuff.

Second Period

12:55: A dump-in leading to a lost board battle by Radim Simek is gathered by Glenn Gawdin, who passes it to Matthew Phillips to make it 4-2.

11:17: Expect Jon Gillies to come in soon — Bill Peters’ plan tonight has been to sub him in halfway through the game.

10:30: Man, Rourke has been everywhere! A great defensive play leads to a hard wrist shot by Barclay Goodrow, but it’s corralled by David Rittich.

10:13: Flames score, it’s Sean Monahan. A tough turnover by Jeremy Roy leads to a breakaway goal from Monahan that Dell had no chance on. 4-3 now.

8:16: Here comes the goalie change as planned. Rittich out, Gillies in.

Flames Family Feud is currently being played at the Saddledome. Where’s Steve Harvey?

7:37: Sheesh, the Sharks defense has been nearly nonexistent this period. Radim Simek just got caught up ice leading to a 3-on-1 opportunity. Tic, tac, but no toe.

7:22: And there’s the tying goal. Matthew Tkachuk ties it with a good screen on Aaron Dell on a Dalton Prout shot from the point.

5:43: It’s a battle of names! Barclay Goodrow strips the puck from Johnny Gaudreau with Ryan and Merkley on the ice!

4:16: SHAAAAAAARKS GOAL! Sasha Fierce gives the Sharks the lead with a powerful snap shot that gets through Gillies! 5-4, good guys!

4:05: The Sharks are making a goalie change of their own. Dell comes out, Bibeau comes in.

3:57: True bangs and bangs in front of Gillies, but no such luck on the goal front.

2:55: Great defensive plays from Chartier and Roy in the Sharks’ zone.

0:09: My goodness, Gaudreau. What a move to fool Bibeau, and now it’s 5-5 at the end of the second period.

END SECOND: Sharks 5, Flames 5

Tough defensive period for the Sharks.

Third Period

19:34: The final regulation period begins with Dylan Gambrell being sent off for slashing.

18:49: Matthew Tkachuk looks hurt on the Flames bench right now, but all signs point to him staying in.

16:13: Ryan and Merkley is a pairing that I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing in regular season action.

14:27: It just hasn’t been the Sharks defense’s night. Sam Bennett finds a back door route past Bibeau to make it 6-5 in favor of the Flames.

10:06: If there’s one positive from the defense tonight, Merkley has looked very good with the puck.

At the break, there was more ‘Cuda praise from Dan, hyping up their opening night against the Ontario Reign. It’s a little off topic, but man, these guys are fun. You should definitely plan a game or two to go to to watch these guys.

8:59: Flames get caught with too many men on the ice.

7:24: Great catch by that one fan off Radil’s deflected shot on Gillies.

3:52: Saddledome getting loud for one of the first times tonight as the Flames look poised to take tonight’s game.

2:00: Bibeau takes off.

1:14: And that oughta do it. Austin Czarnik puts the game away on a near-challenging empty net goal that Kevin Labanc had a great back-check on, but it just wasn’t enough.

FINAL: Flames 7, Sharks 5