Record: 26-12-4 Season Series: 1-1-0 Last Five: 4-1-0
Record: 32-5-5 Season Series: 1-1-0 Last Five: 4-1-0
SHARKS LEADING SCORERS
Flames @ Sharks 8:30 p.m. MT HP Pavilion San Jose, CA Sportsnet (HD) and The Fan 960
It was a confidence boost for the Flames to de-fin the mighty San Jose Sharks last week with a 5-2 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome. After getting pounded with a 6-1 loss in San Jose last November, the Flames were determined to avenge that loss and prove they are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now.
"We came out with a lot of energy, we were skating well, making smart plays, taking the puck to the net, and getting bodies in front of (Sharks goalie Evgeni) Nabokov and it paid off for us," Daymond Langkow said. He scored two goals in that game and is currently riding a seven game streak with six goals and four assists.
It will be a bigger challenge for the Flames to be the victors against the Sharks at the HP Pavilion on Thursday night in what could be their biggest game this season.
The Flames are currently on a three-game winning streak and have only suffered two losses in the last ten games both to the Chicago Blackhawks. Calgary’s road record in San Jose is 3-6-0 in the last ten games with their last win on February 12, 2008 at the Shark Tank. Incidentally, the last regulation home loss for the Sharks was two days later against the Edmonton Oilers.
Since mid-November, the Flames have a 17-4-3 record and are in first place in the Northwest with a seven point lead over the second place Vancouver Canucks. They sit at third in the Western Conference only eight points shy of the Detroit Red Wings for second place.
While the Sharks are unbeaten at home with an impressive 20-0-2 record, they have two big Western Conference contests to deal with including tonight’s matchup, and then the Red Wings on Saturday who haven’t lost a regulation game in nine.
"They are a great team at home and they have a lot of weapons," David Moss commented. "I think for us, we will have to play a pretty hard road game and hopefully grind out a win."
The Sharks are coming off a 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Joe Thornton scored two goals and an assist in that game. It was the first two-goal game he’s had this season and the first goal he’s registered since December 23 against Vancouver. Second line centre Joe Pavelski also snapped a 14 game scoreless drought with a goal. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 24 out of 25 shots and picked up his 23rd win. Nabby has lost his last four starts against Calgary.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For the Flames…
Jarome Iginla leads the team with 18 goals including nine PPGs. He has 18 goals and 35 points against the Sharks alone in his career. Behind him are five other players with double-digit goals including Mike Cammalleri, Daymond Langkow, Rene Bourque, Todd Bertuzzi, and David Moss. He played his 900th game on January 6 against the Sharks.
For the Sharks...
Sharks captain Patrick Marleau is well on his way to an 80 point season. He has five goals and three assists in the last five games and leads the team with 23 goals (6th in NHL) and 48 points before the midseason. He finished last season with 48 points (19 goals and 29 assists).
NOTEWORTHY Todd Bertuzzi is questionable if he will return to tonight's lineup. He missed the last two games with a groin injury, but did practice with the team earlier this week. Jim Vandermeer played his first game on Tuesday after missing 25 games with a broken ankle injury.
PREVIOUS GAME Calgary 3 St. Louis 1 Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Calgary has now won a season high seven straight at home, and eight of their last nine overall after a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Dan Hinote opened the scoring at 16:56 of the first after the puck took a bad bounce off the skate of Curtis Glencross and slipped past Miikka Kiprusoff. Michael Cammalleri scored a power play marker to even things at 1-1 exactly one minute after the Blues goal. David Moss was then the reciepient of a similar break when his centering pass went of Blues defenseman Jay McKee while killing a penalty at 16:18 of the third period to give the Flames a 2-1 lead. Michael Cammalleri capped off a two goal night with his 17th of the season with just under three minutes left in the game to secure the 3-1 win. Kiprusoff made 27 saves on 28 shots for his league leading 26th win of the season.
Power Play:2/5 (40%)Penalty Killing : 3/3 (100%) Shots:Calgary - 34St. Louis Blues: 28 Attendance:19,289
FLAMES MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Todd Bertuzzi needs three power play goals for 100 Both Dustin Boyd and Mark Giordano need three games for 100 Jarome Iginla needs eight goals for 400 Matthew Lombardi needs six assists for 100 Cory Sarich needs eight assists for 100
Brandon Prust (jaw) and Wayne Primeau (foot) are expected to return later this month, and Rhett Warrener (shoulder) is out indefinitely.