Unlike the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks had a great night on Tuesday, taking down the Calgary Flames by a score of 5-3 to improve to a 14-11-1 record on the season. The Flames were coming off of a loss and were hoping to bounce back against the Sharks, but, were stunned by the goal-scoring San Jose brought.
The first period was a rough spot for the Sharks. They were outshot 12-8 and outscored 2-1, with a couple of defensive lapses causing the team to struggle early on.
Milan Lucic powered past Brent Burns, who somehow couldn't get his long stick to reach and poke away the puck and sent the puck to Dillon Dube in the slot, who fired it past Adin Hill to open scoring a minute and a half into the game.
Later in the period, the Sharks converted on a power play after going one for nine over the last five games heading into this one. Mikael Backlund's stick snapped, and he hustled to the bench to get a replacement, giving San Jose a two-man advantage for a couple of seconds, which allowed Tomas Hertl to unload a filthy wrist shot to tie the game.
If Hertl’s consistency is in question, it might be because it’s been more than a month since the last time he scored in consecutive games.
A couple of minutes later, Mario Ferraro was in the corner battling for a puck. Matthew Tkachuk retrieved it instead and immediately passed it up front to Johnny Gaudreau, who undressed Hill and buried it to give the Flames the lead again.
The first period was probably the worst hockey I have seen Ferraro and Burns play in a long time. Lots of defensive troubles with each player cost the Sharks a goal.
The second period didn't get much better for Sharks' defensemen. Early on, Nicholas Meloche and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were dominated in the corners, the Flames picked up possession, sent the puck back to the point and fired it, allowing rookie forward Adam Ruzicka to grab the rebound and score his first NHL goal.
After that, though, the Sharks shut the door and took over the hockey game, beginning with a breakaway goal from Erik Karlsson to get San Jose within one goal midway through the second period.
Not long after the Karlsson goal, it was clear that the Sharks had all the momentum, and Logan Couture re-directed a shot to score his first goal since Nov. 24, snapping a six-game drought and tying the game at 3-3.
In the final minutes of the second period, Alexander Barabanov snapped a shot at Flames goaltender Dan Vladar, who kicked it right to Hertl to pot his second goal of the night for his second two-goal game of the season.
Ninja Hertl was NOT missing that rebound pic.twitter.com/z8iA0aEdqO— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 8, 2021
The third period was much less offense-driven than the previous two, as the Sharks tried to maintain their lead.
A scary moment happened when Milan Lucic drove Lane Pederson's head into the boards on a brutal missed penalty by the referees. The training staff brought Pederson to the locker room but thankfully he returned quickly.
Hill took a couple of years off of Sharks' fans lives by repeatedly playing the puck. In one instance, he turned the puck over to Lucic, who proceeded to miss the empty cage while we at home got to hear Randy Hahn give an amazing "That's karma, baby" call.
The period ended with Hertl burying an empty-net goal in the game's final minute to ensure a Sharks win. This marked his first hat trick since Jan. 22, 2019, against the Washington Capitals.
It was pretty great to watch Hertl break out offensively this game. I've been a critic of him this season knowing that he has more in the tank than he isn't giving on the ice, and he took a huge step in the right direction in doing so last night.
It's also been fun to see Karlsson slowly get back to being a top defensemen in the league, with a two-point performance last night. He's been playing with much more confidence, and was most definitely the team's best defenseman last night.
Hill had a huge bounce-back game, making 40 saves on 43 shots to earn his second win in four starts.
You love to see the resilience of the Sharks to build a comeback after being down by two goals. The 5-3 victory was a great team effort to kick off a seven-game homestand.