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Game Rush: Flames vs. Sharks

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Miikka Kiprusoff stood tall all night but not even his incredible play could stop the surging San Jose Sharks.

The Calgary Flames fell 4-3 in a shootout, giving them 71 points on the season.

Taber, AB native Devin Setoguchi opened the scoring at 3:34 on San Jose's first shot of the game. The Sharks dominated the play from that point on but the Flames managed to tie it up late. Anton Babchuk scored at 18:05, with the lone assist going to Steve Staios.

The second period saw the Flames push ahead by a goal despite the Sharks dictating most of the play. Kyle Wellwood gave the Sharks their second goal of the night while David Moss and Niklas Hagman scored for the home team.

The Flames nearly came out with the win in regulation but Ryan Clowe snuck a shot past Kiprusoff at 17:26 to push the game to extra time.

Overtime solved nothing and the game went to a shootout. It was Clowe who scored the game winner as the only player in the shootout to beat the netminder.

The Flames had a 19-1-2 record when leading after two periods coming into Friday's game and that may have led to a bout of over-confident feelings for the club as they started the third period.

The Sharks came out flying in the third period, absolutely determined to at least push the game to overtime, and it looked as if the Flames were content to sit back and not press back. The Sharks sent 11 shots at Kiprusoff in the period and despite his efforts, Clowe managed to score with just under 3:00 remaining in regulation.

Calgary's complacency in the third frame was what lost them a valuable point in the tight Western Conference. They now sit sixth in the conference with Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Nashville just one point behind them.

Just two games after the Flames put him on waivers, Hagman showcased why the club won't be reconsidering that move any time soon.

Taking a back pass from Brendan Morrison right at the blueline, the Finn weaved through a crowd of Sharks before dancing around defender Niclas Wallin. After he was finished undressing the young blueliner, he flipped the puck to his forehanded and roofed a shot for his 10th of the year. The highlight reel goal not only got a standing ovation but was the go-ahead goal in the second period.

With a red-hot San Jose club in town, Kiprusoff knew he'd be under siege all night and would need to be able to stand tall if his team hoped to gain points in the contest. The Finnish goalie did just that and

In one sequence, he and defenceman made what may be the save of the year. Dany Heatly took a shot from the circle that Kiprusoff couldn't corral. The puck bounced in front of the net and with the Flames goaltender down, it looked like a sure goal for San Jose. Defenceman Marc-Edouard had hopped into the play and tried to wire a shot into the open cage but Giordano leap across the blue paint to make the save with his stick. The puck once again found it's way back towards the net just seconds later and this time it was Kiprusoff diving over to make the paddle save.

Alex Tanguay needs one more game to reach 800.

Jarome Iginla is currently tied for 29th spot on the NHL's all-time game winning goals list with 74 game winners. He is tied with Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux.

"Leading after two, you should seal the deal. Tonight we didn't. We sat back and let them come at us. You can't win games when you're playing like that." - Morrison on the loss

Friday, Feb.25  vs. St. Louis
  6:00 PM MT (Sportsnet West, FAN 960)

The Flames play the last contest of their five-game homestand against the slumping St. Louis Blues. The teams have met just once this season with the Flames handing the Blues a 4-1 loss on Jan. 26.

Game time is 6:00 PM MT on Sportsnet West and The FAN 960.
15 Straight starts for Kiprusoff.
10 Goals on the season for Babchuk. His career-high is 16.
31 Assists for Jokinen. He has 44 points in 59 games.
10 Minutes in penalties for Tim Jackman. He dropped the gloves with Ben Eager & Ryan Clowe.
34 Hits by the Flames. Jackman and Robyn Regehr led the charge with 5.

1st Star
Miikka Kiprusoff
33 30 3 65:00 .909
2nd Star
Ryan Clowe
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 0 1
3rd Star
David Moss
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +2 5

Antti Niemi
24 21 3 65:00 .875

Miikka Kiprusoff
33 30 3 65:00 .909

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