San Jose Sharks pick up a point but lose an even more valuable one with 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames
Despite a solid overall effort the Sharks would once again commit unforced errors at crucial moments of the game to end up with another game slipping away into the losing column.
Logan Couture would score twice for San Jose, reaching the 30 goal mark for the second straight season, while Sven Baertschi, Jarome iginla, and Matt Stajan would notch tallies for the Flames.
For the second straight game the Sharks would jump out to an early lead in the game. Joe Thornton would make a strong play with the puck from along the sideboards and send the puck up to Brent Burns who would receive the puck and slide across the point into a shooting lane. Although Miikka Kiprusoff would make the initial save on Burns, Logan Couture's strong presence in front of the net allowed him to pounce on the rebound and rip one past Kiprusoff for the early lead.
San Jose had to deal with a pair of penalties following that early score however, playing exceptional shorthanded on the first and giving up a few chances on the second with Antti Niemi managing to keep the lead intact as the Flames rifled a few feeds through the center of the Sharks box.
Some nice board work from Ryane Clowe after a good zone keep from Marc-Edouard Vlasic would cause Matt Stajan to take a holding penalty that the Sharks couldn't capitalize on, but San Jose would receive a gift from the officials after Curtis Glencross got nailed for a bogus five minute boarding call that led to his undeserved ejection.
That 5 minute power play would bleed over into the second period with a one goal lead, but outside of a few excellent chances the team would look discombobulated for the majority of the opportunity.
San Jose would play a strong second period where they outchanced and outplayed the Flames almost to a man, but as has been the case as of late, missed opportunities and mental errors led to the Sharks trailing once again.
The Flames first goal was generated from an off angle shot from the corner that Niemi got a body in. The ensuing rebound came out to Sven Baertschi who, taking advantage of some miscommunication on the part of Daniel Winnik and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, was wide open in the slot and roofed one high over the blocker of an unsuspecting Niemi.
After a pair of good shifts from the line of Daniel Winnik, Patrick Marleau, and Ryane Clowe-- the Sharks line who may have had the best zone possession time throughout the night-- as well as an excellent chance from Marc-Edouard Vlasic who just put his shot wide, Mark Giordano would get nailed with a delay of game penalty. This led to an excellent Sharks power play filled with strong puck movement but nothing to show for it.
All that momentum would end with the puck in the back of their net a few ticks later.
Coming out of the zone Vlasic would send a pass up the ice onto the waiting stick of Giordano who, unbeknownst to Vlasic, had just exited the box. That turnover would lead to an odd man opportunity and a cross ice feed to Jarome Iginla who buried his shot as Niemi looked a little sluggish coming across the crease.
San Jose's good second period outside of the score would result in an early goal in the second period however, reigniting hope and sending angels screaming across the sky in ecstasy. An absolutely phenomenal keep in from Logan Couture at the point started the scoring play, with Couture kicking the puck down to Joe Thornton before driving to the net with a head full of steam. Thornton found Marleau in front, and a patient Marleau would lay a soft feed onto the waiting stick of Couture who popped one past Kiprusoff to even the score.
The remaining game played in the third period was a fierce checking affair you would expect from two teams battling for playoff position, and a few good saves from both netminders along with a brutal non call late in the third period when T.J. Galiardi was drilled into the boards from behind would take us to overtime where the Sharks managed to pick up a precious standings point as they looked for more.
It wouldn't happen.
After a faceoff win in the offensive zone Dan Boyle would receive the puck cleanly but receive pressure from Matt Stajan a step above the circles. Boyle attempted to force the puck to the net but ramped it off Stajan's pads, leading to a 2 on 1 odd man rush up the ice. Despite Vlasic's attempts to break up the pass across the slot, and Boyle's admirable attempt to get back into the play following his error, Blake Comeau would slip one through to Stajan who would bury it into the empty net.
And San Jose, despite doing many things right tonight, once again fell into the losing column due to mistakes and errors at crucial moments of the game. With 13 games remaining, and San Jose's acquired loser point helping them to get back into eighth place, the focus now shifts to an imposing three game homestand where they will play the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Anaheim Ducks.
Time is running out.