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game recap

Red-hot Flames burn Sharks 2-1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Red-hot Flames burn Sharks 2-1
Calgary Flames 2, San Jose Sharks 1

The Calgary Flames have turned into the NHL's road warriors.

The Flames improved to 11-2-3 away from the Pengrowth Saddledome with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. Daymond Langkow broke a tie with a goal 3:36 into the third period, and former Shark Miikka Kiprusoff made 35 saves.

Kiprusoff's best stop came during a Sharks power play late in the second period with the score tied at 1-1. Scott Nichol looked like he had the go-ahead goal when the rebound of his shot bounced over a sprawled Kiprusoff's skate, but the Finnish netminder knocked the puck away with the heel of his skate.

"I saw it hit my glove and I knew it was right there," Kiprusoff said. "It can go anywhere when you kick it like that, and this time it went into the corner."

Kiprusoff has been playing some of the best hockey of his career.

"He's played like that all year. He's really enjoying it, he's on his game. He's fun to watch, he's always competing in there. He loves it," captain Jarome Iginla told CBC's Hockey Night in Canada of Kiprusoff, who has beaten his old team in 11 of 19 meetings. "The defense and him are playing so well, playing so well together."

The Flames are now 4-1-0 on a six-game trip that concludes Monday in Los Angeles. Their play on the road this season is quite an improvement for a team that went 19-20-2 away from home in 2008-09.

"I think part of is confidence and part of it is rolling," Iginla said. "From the start of game, we're showing more composure."

Not surprisingly for a meeting between two of the Western Conference's top teams, there was plenty of hitting (36 hits apiece), some good scoring chances (35 shots each) and excellent goaltending.

"That was a hell of a game, almost a playoff game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Unfortunately we made one mistake in the third period, and they scored."

The mistake came when Langkow was left alone in the slot while Rene Bourque won the puck behind the San Jose net. Bourque found him, and Langkow ripped a one-timer from 20 feet past Evgeni Nabokov's glove to break a 1-1 tie.

The Sharks' best chance to tie came about 80 seconds later when Nichol fired a shot that beat Kiprusoff but clanged off the crossbar.

"This was a game that both teams needed goaltending, and got it," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "They both made big saves. The one by Kipper was unbelievable. The puck is heading into the net and he throws a foot up to knock it out."

It was the second home loss in three nights for the Sharks, who blew a late lead to St. Louis on Thursday and lost in a shootout.

"It was a back-and-forth game, a playoff kind of game," Nichol said. "It was like two big bulls going at it. You had to battle for every inch of ice."

After a scoreless first period, San Jose went ahead 4:40 into the second when Ryan Clowe swatted home the rebound of Dan Boyle's shot an instant before Kiprusoff could cover the puck. Clowe, who got off to a slow start this season, now has 5 goals and 10 points in his last nine games and 19 points in his last 19 games.

The lead lasted only until 10:28, when Olli Jokinen beat Evgeni Nabokov with a sizzler from inside the left circle. Jokinen's shot appeared to tick off Nichol's stick and zipped over the goaltender's glove.

"We had chances," Sharks center Joe Pavelski said. "Both goalies were very good. We just didn't get the one we needed."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
04:40
SJS
Ryane Clowe (7) ASST: Dan Boyle (19), Douglas Murray (5)
1 - 0 SJS
10:28
CGY
Olli Jokinen (6) ASST: Jarome Iginla (13), Jay Bouwmeester (12)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
03:36
CGY
Daymond Langkow (9) ASST: Rene Bourque (15)
2 - 1 CGY
penalty summary
1st Period
00:08
SJS
Scott Nichol  Roughing against  Eric Nystrom
00:08
CGY
Eric Nystrom  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
01:17
SJS
Douglas Murray  Charging against  Jarome Iginla
04:19
CGY
Brian McGrattan  Fighting (maj) against  Frazer McLaren
04:19
SJS
Frazer McLaren  Fighting (maj) against  Brian McGrattan
06:52
SJS
Kent Huskins  Holding against  Jarome Iginla
18:27
CGY
David Moss  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
07:28
CGY
Jay Bouwmeester  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
14:24
CGY
Eric Nystrom  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
17:14
SJS
Jamie McGinn  Holding against  Adam Pardy
3rd Period
08:37
SJS
Scott Nichol  Holding against  Aaron Johnson
09:57
SJS
Marc-Edouard Vlasic  Tripping against  Olli Jokinen
goalie stats
Miikka Kiprusoff
SA: 36TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 26 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .972SH: 0 - 0
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 36TOI: 59:02
Saves: 34EV: 26 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .944SH: 1 - 1