Sharks 5, Flames 8: Sharks get burned on the road

High offensive output on both sides left Aaron Dell out to dry in his hometown.

You’d think five goals would be enough to win a game, but that’s not the case when you let in eight. The Sharks allowed a goal on the Flames’ first shot of the game and that pretty much set the standard.

Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matt Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm, all of whom were mentioned in the game preview as having scored a lot of points, scored a lot of points. Monahan led them all with five assists.

The Sharks never controlled play in a meaningful way.

Sam Bennett will have an automatic hearing with the Department of Player Safety for his late high hit that injured Radim Simek in the third period.

Let’s leave that performance in 2018. Happy New Year, FTF readers.

First Period

18:50: Sharks have already blown a defensive coverage in front of the net leading to a goal. It was the Flames’ first shot of the game.

The Flames have one regulation home loss in their last 11 games. The Sharks need exactly that to take over the division for the turn of the year.

15:10: The Sharks have taken their first shot on goal. Unlike the Flames, they didn’t score.

14:05: Not sure I want to see Tomas Hertl trying to one-man dangle his way through the middle of the offensive zone when the Sharks are already down a goal. It was a nice looking move, but didn’t pay off. They’re lucky it wasn’t the trigger for a full breakaway.

13:07: The Sharks score on a similar play as the Flames, ahem, burned them on earlier. Lukas Radil has his fourth goal of the season.

12:00: Joe Thornton takes a high-sticking penalty. After the break, we’ll see the Sharks’ first penalty kill of the night.

9:32: The first big chance of the Thornton penalty went to the Sharks, who are not the team I wrote a couple-dozen words about short-handed scoring! Anyway, Sharks killed the penalty but almost allowed a 3-on-2 right away.

9:05: The Flames take the lead back on a long shot. Mikael Backlund, who scored the first goal, will receive credit for this one too.

7:10: Brenden Dillon takes a shot from far out with Radil trying to tip ... would have been another copycat goal, but alas.

2:44: Erik Karlsson hits the post with a shot, Rittich falls to the ice, the Flames almost get a breakaway and Erik Karlsson gets called for tripping.

2:36: That was quick. 3-1.

1:23: Timo Meier takes a high stick from Elias Lindholm as he takes the puck up the left wing boards. Power play to the Sharks.

They un-called the penalty. Then re-called it. I’m confused.

End of First Period

The Sharks trail 3-1 after allowing a goal on the first shot faced. The Flames are 18-2 when scoring the first goal. The Sharks didn’t have any noteworthy puck control during the period; even the power play in the last minute and a half went mostly Calgary’s way.

The Sharks will have about half a minute of power-play time on fresh ice.

Second Period

The start of the period was slightly delayed by Dell needing mask maintenance. In my opinion, he can take as long as he needs to make sure he’s safe.

17:09: Sharks get an early power play.

16:05: Halfway through the power play, Brent Burns fires (hah?) the puck past Rittich’s leg to get the Sharks within a goal of the Flames.

15:07: Barclay Goodrow, whose name is much easier to spell than Gaudreau, and Kevin Labanc force a save by Rittich.

12:56: I’m pretty sure Joe Pavelski just used his skate blade to redirect the puck towards the net. In midair. Neato.

11:13: Melker Karlsson takes a holding penalty.

9:13: The Flames score at the last possible second of the power play. The Sharks had gotten lucky about 15 seconds earlier when Johnny Gaudreau fumbled a cross-ice feed with all the Sharks drifting to the left side of the goal. And another lucky moment when Aaron Dell kicked out to deny a chance from the paint. But the third time’s the charm for the Flames.

3:54: The Flames are celebrating their fifth goal; this will likely be looked at for goaltender interference. Also, go USA, beat Finland.

I don’t really see this challenge succeeding. No goal due to goaltender interference. Bennett’s mustache is ... kinda intimidating.

1:38: Joonas Donskoi picks the top corner glove side. His wrist shot gets the Sharks within one.

0:26: Johnny Gaudreau gets a breakaway, slams the brakes in the circle, and passes it off to the trailing Lindholm who hits the one-timer.

End of Second Period

The Flames carry another 2-goal lead into the second intermission. Can we call it a minor blessing that it’s only a 2-goal lead? I don’t really have much else I want to say.

Third Period

19:12: Joonas Donskoi again! Sharks are within one.

17:00: 10 goals have been scored this game. Didn’t I say something about high-scoring games being a risk ... ?

15:42: One of the best offensive attempts for the Sharks ends in the pads of Rittich.

“Fire-wagon hockey” is a good way to describe the last couple minutes, NBCS-CA, but isn’t it a bit on the nose?

14:12: 7 goals for Calgary.

13:31: Gaudreau again. He was just left alone in front of Dell — by the way, why is Dell still in?

Dell definitely had time to poke-check Johnny there, but opted to stand still.

9:15: Sharks will have to kill a penalty after the commercial break. Insert “already dead” joke.

7:47: Gaudreau did the same thing that landed Labanc in the box. 4-on-4 now.

6:45: Yay for the power play. Now only an 8-5 Calgary lead.

0:40: It’s time for punching I see.

0:22: I’m trying very hard to be civil right now but I have a burning rage. That was totally classless by Sam Bennett, who got a match penalty.

How the ... ? Inexplicably, Goodrow also has a match penalty.

Final Score: Flames 8, Sharks 5

First and foremost, let’s all send our positive thoughts, and prayers if we’re religious, for Simek.


The San Jose Sharks will spend the end of 2018 fighting the Calgary Flames for first in the Pacific Division. With a regulation win, the Sharks can jump over the Flames for a one-point lead in the standings.

The Sharks have a lot of offensive talent to contend with tonight. The Flames have four 40-plus point-scorers, as well as one of the NHL’s best shorthanded goal-scorers this season. Expected starter Aaron Dell will have to stay sharp, even on the man advantage.



The Sharks are healthy, so no real surprises here. Rookie Radim Simek is still in the lineup, as is fellow freshman, Lukas Radil, who appears to continue his promotion to Logan Couture’s second line. Aaron Dell gets a hometown start.

Calgary Flames (via Matchsticks and Gasoline):


Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Elias Lindholm
Matthew Tkachuk — Mikael Backlund — Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett — Mark Jankowski — James Neal
Dillon Dube — Derek Ryan — Garnet Hathaway


Mark Giordano — T.J. Brodie
Noah Hanifin — Travis Hamonic
Oliver Kylington — Rasmus Andersson


David Rittich
Mike Smith

The Flames are missing defensemen Michael Stone and Juuso Valimaki to injury. Forward Andrew Mangiapane is a bit of a mystery, having played seven games with the Flames this season, splitting time with their AHL team, the Stockton Heat. Mangiapane was recalled this morning and immediately placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. Ultimately, the Flames are rolling with a familiar roster and starting 26-year-old netminder David Rittich, who has stepped up as Mike Smith has struggled this season.

Where to Watch

Bay Area viewers can tune in to NBC Sportsnet California. The game will also be broadcast on SN1, SNE, SNO and SNP for Canadians. For radio listeners, the game will be on 98.5 KFOX. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern.