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CAM THE MAN

Talbot shines, stopping all 24 shots he faced, but Flames drop 4-1 decision to Sharks

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

SAN JOSE - There's often a fine line between too much and too little work in the pre-season.

Ask any goalie, though, and he'll take the former.

Every time.

For newcomer Cam Talbot, a busy night in his final test of the exhibition slate was just what the doctor ordered.

And, boy, did he deliver.

 

Video: "I felt pretty good about my game tonight"

 

Talbot stopped all 24 shots he faced in 40 minutes of work Thursday, but the Flames dropped a 4-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks.

Artyom Zagidulin tagged in for the final 20 in what was then a 0-0 game, turning aside six of the 12 pucks he was tested with.

Evander Kane scored the icebreaker at 3:17 of the third period as he redirected a Brent Burns blast in front, leaving Zagidulin with no chance on the play.

The goal came on San Jose's 29th shot, and the fifth the Flames' highly touted goalie prospect faced.

Burns put the game away with 9:01 on the clock, stepping up at the right point and fooling Zagidulin with a shot from the wall, beating the netminder up high, over the left shoulder.

Dylan Gambrell added a pair less than a minute apart late in the third - first getting a stick on a shot in the high slot to make it 3-0 at 13:27, and then floating one through traffic to make it a four-goal game at 13:51.

Burns finished the night with four helpers to lead the way offensively.

Justin Kirkland broke the shutout with 4:02 to play off a feed from Buddy Robinson, but it was too little, too late.

The Flames - who dressed only six regulars and recalled eight players from Stockton to round out the roster on a long, there-and-back travel day - faced a veteran Sharks team loaded with primetime talent.

Joe Thornton, Erik Karlsson, Burns, Kane and many more all dressed in front of their home fans.

Talbot was under siege early as he faced a barrage of quality chances, thanks in large part to a pair of Oliver Kylington penalties that put the visitors down a man twice, less than five minutes apart.

However, the 'Goalbuster' stood tall, stonewalling Danil Yurtaykin's backdoor tap-in attempt, before scrambling back into position and kicking out the left pad to deny Karlsson's blast from the opposite circle.

 

Video: "An elite penalty killer"

 

It was more of the same early in the second as Talbot came out of his net to cut down the angle on a hard-charging Logan Couture, again using the tip of his left wicket to knock the sniper's backhand try to safety.

Moments later, he took another away - this time with the trapper - robbing Karlsson yet again off the right circle after the former Norris winner walked in and looked to bury, top shelf.

His finest, though, came late in the middle stanza when he robbed Kane with a ridiculous glove grab. Brent Burns orchestrated the whole thing, showing great vision and zipping a beautiful cross-ice feed over to Kane, who rifled a one-timer at the bottom of the far circle.

But Talbot was there, lunging across to cut off the angle in what was a circus-like save from his belly.

The Flames had a terrific chance to break the goose-egg shortly thereafter when Tobias Rieder broke in a short-handed break, but his backhand-forehand move was smothered by Martin Jones.

 

THEY SAID IT:

TALBOT ON HIS BIG NIGHT

"I felt pretty good. I felt that I was tracking the puck well, controlling the puck when I had a chance to, fighting through screens when they were shooting for tips and stuff like that, that they're so good at. Just talked about building into the regular season and I thought that I got better every game."

TALBOT ON HOW HIS GAME HAS PROGRESSED IN CAMP

"You hope to see what you saw tonight - to play against pretty much a full NHL roster out there. There wasn't anyone that wasn't really a regular out there. These are the games you want to play heading into the season because they're going to prepare you the most. Getting into a game like that and making some big stops and gain some confidence was huge for me."

RIEDER ON HOW THE GAME PLAYED OUT

"We had to get rid of the bus legs a little bit. We were pretty good in the second and parts of the third, but we just got away from our details a little bit and that's when teams like that capitalize."

RIEDER ON HIS PERFORMANCE IN CAMP

"(The goals are) going to come. I'm staying positive. The good thing is that I'm creating stuff. I'm making things happen out there and I'm creating my chances. That's a good thing and eventually they'll go in. ... I felt good. What's done is done. I gave everything I've got out there. That's what matters the most."

 

Video: "It's just about finding a way to put them in"

 

COACH BILL PETERS ON RIEDER

"Very consistent guy. Very good pro. Very good on the penalty kill and generates chances with his speed. ... I think he's an elite penalty-killer, to be honest with you. Powerful guy, quick, a lot of dimensions to his game. He's one of those guys that needs to get one and when he does, breaks the seal, away he goes."

PETERS ON FACING A VETERAN SHARKS TEAM

"Doesn't hurt for those guys to get the experience. Burnsie finished with four assists. Three of them were on shot-tips that they're not used to defending, and getting in shooting lanes and playing a little higher on the weak side. Lessons learned and will be good moving forward."

 

THE LINEUP:

Here were the forward lines and D pairs to start Thursday's game:

FORWARDS

Dillon Dube - Mark Jankowski - Andrew Mangiapane
Alan Quine - Derek Ryan - Tobias Rieder
Justin Kirkland - Luke Philp - Buddy Robinson
Zac Rinaldo - Byron Froese - Devante Smith-Pelly

DEFENCE

Andrew MacDonald - Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington - Michael Stone
Brandon Davidson - Rinat Valiev

GOALTENDERS

Cam Talbot
Artyom Zagidulin

Scratches: Matthew Phillips, Andrew Nielsen

 

Video: "It got away from us in the third."

 

ONE-TIMERS:

The Flames recalled eight players from their American Hockey League, the Stockton Heat, for tonight's game: Byron Froese (C), Justin Kirkland (LW), Andrew Nielson (LD), Matthew Phillips (RW), Luke Philp (C), Buddy Robinson (RW), Rinat Valiev (LD) and Artyom Zagidulin (G). Stockton is only a two-hour drive east from San Jose. Two members of the Heat training and equipment staff also made the trek, prepping the room for the team's arrival at 4:00 p.m. local and pitching in with their usual game-night duties (drying equipment, sharpening skates, etc.) throughout the evening. … For the first time in the pre-season, all four of the Flames' PTOs - forwards Devante Smith-Pelly, Zac Rinaldo and Tobias Rieder, along with defenceman Andrew MacDonald - all dressed in the same game. … With many of the Flames' regulars back home in Calgary, Michael Stone, Mark Jankowski and Derek Ryan made up the leadership group - all sporting A's.

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames close out the pre-season at home on Saturday as they host the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. You can watch the game LIVE right here on CalgaryFlames.com, or on the Flames Facebook page. Then, a week from tonight, we get going for real as the Flames open their 40th season on the road next Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche.

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