The Sharks had revenge on their minds coming into tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames.
But instead of fighting fire with fire, the Sharks took a different path and got revenge where it counted — on the scoreboard.
The Flames scored first, when Mark Jankowski redirected a point shot past Martin Jones, but the Sharks countered with three goals over the course of four minutes, including a Brent Burns goal on an almost empty net that ended David Rittich’s night. San Jose exited the first period with a 3-1 lead.
Mike Smith learned the hard way that trying to chirp Evander Kane as the backup was not a good idea. Late into the second period, Kane scored his second goal of the night as a result of a great defensive break-up by Radim Simek. The Flames answered not too long after, but their aggressive bid for a comeback in the third period was for naught as Tomas Hertl also scored his second goal of the night with 1:23 remaining, marking the Sharks’ fourth straight win.
The Sharks have had this day circled on their calendar for a while.
They'll get to play the Calgary Flames for the first time since the infamous New Year’s Eve game just over a month ago, during which Sam Bennett leveled Radim Simek with a controversial hit late in the third period, which many Sharks, including Barclay Goodrow, took exception to.
But besides this whole revenge angle, tonight presents a serious opportunity for the Sharks to get closer to that No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division. After Tuesday night’s overtime victory against Winnipeg, the Sharks are now within four points of tying the division-leading Flames in the standings.
Both teams have been on fire recently. The Sharks have won three straight games in overtime and the Flames have gone 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
Erik Karlsson continues to battle whatever is keeping him out of action, so he won’t be in the lineup tonight. Aside from that, the Sharks don’t seem to have changed anything from Tuesday night. With Dylan Gambrell possibly in for another game, it wouldn’t be too much of a reach to wonder if the Sharks are showcasing him for a potential trade.
Martin Jones once again gets the call in net. Although he’s still looking to get his save percentage upwards of .900 (he's currently sitting at .899), he has won the last three games he’s started for the Sharks.
Look for the Flames to be rolling with these lines tonight:
Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk — Mikael Backlund — Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett — Mark Jankowski — James Neal
Andrew Mangiapane — Derek Ryan — Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano — T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin — Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington — Rasmus Andersson
David Rittich will start for the Flames tonight. His last game against the Sharks was that New Year’s Eve game, grabbing the win despite allowing five goals.
Where to Watch
The second installment of this Western Canada road trip kicks off from the Scotiabank Saddledome at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST. The action will be broadcast on NBC Sports California, with radio streaming available on 98.5 KFOX. We’ll see you back here then for live updates and reactions.
Hey-o Sharks fans! Bryan here returning to the liveblog for tonight’s game, let’s get a W!
20:00: Here we go!
19:05: Looks like Dalton Prout is in the lineup and Oliver Kylington is scratched for the Flames. Late decision, it seems.
15:24: Mark Jankowski redirects a shot past Martin Jones for the first goal of the game. These early goals are becoming a pattern.
12:16: I am not a fan of taking penalties in the offensive zone.
10:16: Sharks kill the Kevin Labanc tripping penalty.
9:05: Dalton Prout takes an interference call and tries to goud Evander Kane into roughing him up after the whistle. Kane shows restraint, though, and the Sharks go on the power play.
8:13: Now Tomas Hertl’s getting sent to the box for a slash. They need to stay out of the box because that strobe light is getting very hard on my eyes.
7:20: SHARKS GOAL! Evander Kane silences the boo birds in Calgary with a great turn-and-shoot goal that Rittich couldn’t get all of!
Better yet, that’s Jumbo Joe’s 1,000th point as a San Jose Shark!
6:18: SHAAAAARKS GOAL! What on earth was David Rittich doing?! He went out toward the blue line to try and clear the puck but it deflected off Brent Burns and he put it in a virtually empty net! 2-1!
5:56: I can’t keep up! That’s ANOTHER SHAAAAAAAAARKS GOAL! After David Rittich is pulled in favor of Mike Smith, the Sharks’ first shot on him is a rebound that Hertl gets all of and slams it home for the 3-1 lead!
3:36: Andrew Mangiapane lets a weak shot go that’s stopped by Jones. Did you know the translation of his name in Italian is literally “eat bread?”
END FIRST: Sharks 3, Flames 1
It was probably not in the best interest of Mike Smith to run his mouth from the bench.
Bret Hart sighting!!!
19:06: Brenden Dillon with a nice point blast, but Smith corrals it.
16:57: Derek Ryan makes Jones go way out of his crease, but botches a sure goal.
15:44: Flames seriously pressuring, but they can’t get anything to go.
14:28: They’re promoting How To Train Your Dragon 3 ... why?
14:09: My God, Jones is just bailing the Sharks out this period.
13:27: Burns called for tripping. The strobe lights are back. I don’t like it.
8:12: Marcus Sorensen swings it around to Thornton, but Noah Hanifin collides with the net, knocking it off and sending us to a TV timeout.
4:34: Dillon sends one into the netting.
3:33: SHAAAAAAARKS GOAL! EVANDER KANE WITH HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT! Radim Simek is proving that the best revenge is success with how he set up that play, and now Kane gets Mike Smith back for his chirping on the bench!
2:41: “Jones with the save, but there’s a penalty” might as well be recorded and played back the way this game has been going.
2:18: The Flames get one back. T.J. Brodie with a shot from the point that bounces off Justin Braun and goes into the net.
END SECOND: Sharks 4, Flames 2
All things considered, even with the lead, that period could have gone better for the Sharks. Jones stood on his head, though, so mad props to him.
18:06: Some easy shots here and there that Smith easily corrals.
17:40: Logan Couture and Timo Meier go on a 2-on-1, but Couture’s shot is stopped by Smith. Hell of a pass from Timo, though.
17:18: Another Sharks penalty. Sigh. Dillon is sent off for tripping.
15:50: ABSOLUTE CHAOS IN FRONT OF THE NET.
15:36: And Jones makes a relieving stop that allows the Sharks to make a change!
13:33: Marc-Edouard Vlasic with a turnover leading to a 2-on-1, but it rings off the post!
9:50: No idea what just happened there as we’ve been having technical difficulties here but it looks like there’s a penalty on the Sharks?
Never mind, it’s a penalty on MIKE SMITH. And now he’s mouthing off to the refs.
7:25: ANOTHER PENALTY ON THE SHARKS. Tripping ... somehow.
6:58: Jones is committing highway robbery!!!
4:15: Another penalty for cross-checking.
3:05: Mark Giordano interferes with Melker Karlsson and now the Flames’ power play is wiped out.
1:23: SHAAAAAAARKS GOAL! Tomas Hertl has pretty much iced this game with his second goal of the night! 5-2 Sharks!
And that’s a final! A huge win tonight, and now the Sharks are knocking on the door of first place in the Pacific.