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Gameday Primer: Let's get physical

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames


CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames have the momentum. The San Jose Sharks want to take it back.

"It's time to lace up the boots," said Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick.

The physical play in the series seems to be dictating the winner. In Game 1, the Flames were the aggressors and won 3-2. In Game 2, the Sharks played a hitting game and won. In Game 3, the Flames were trailing 3-0 in the first period when Cory Sarich crunched Patrick Marleau, the Sharks captain, to regain the momentum and eventually scored four unanswered goals to win the game 4-3.

The Sharks are determined not to be pushed around tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Game 4 (8 p.m., CBC and The Fan 960).

Calgary currently ranks second in the post-season on the power play so the Sharks, if they plan to be physical, need to be disciplined or the Flames will pounce. They have three goals with the man advantage in nine attempts for a 33 per cent success rate.

 FlamesCast: Craig Conroy 04.15.08  

The Flames will again ride the emotions of the 'Dome faithful, too, although they are looking for a better start -- they gave up three goals in the first 3:33 of the game.

"The carryover from the last game is to have a better start," said head coach Mike Keenan. "Hockey has its swings, its ebbs and flows, during a game and it is influenced by the fans. The energy level is there. You can feel it. The players feed off of it."

Keenan said the comeback win on Sunday at home went a long way too boosting the Flames confidence and that is something they want to carry into the game tonight.

"You can prove a lot to yourself and to each other. You can build some confidence levels from that," said Keenan.

CHECK YOUR TICKETS: If you are planning on attending the game, please note that this is Round One Game B on your tickets. The Sea of Red is expected to be out in full force beginning with a tailgate party and other assorted fan-based activities and fun beginning two hours before game time.
BY THE NUMBERS: The only other time the Flames won a playoff game in which they trailed by three goals (or more) was exactly 24 years earlier, April 13, 1984 at Edmonton. The Flames, who trailed 4-1 late in the second period, scored four straight goals to take a 5-4 lead (Steve Bozek put them ahead with 1:33 left), only to have the Oilers to the score with 33 seconds to play on a goal by Wayne Gretzky with Grant Fuhr off for an extra skater. The Flames won in overtime, 6-5, on a goal by Carey Wilson.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: The Flames pulled Miikka Kiprusoff in Game 3 after the Sharks struck for three goals in 3:33 seconds. Nobody faulted Kiprusoff for the goals. "He couldn't be blamed for any of the goals. I thought he was the best player on the ice in the first two games," said Curtis Joseph, who relieved Kiprusoff and played shutout hockey the rest of the way as the Flames staged a remarkable comeback to win 4-3. There is no goalie controversy to speak about though. Kiprusoff is the undisputed No.1 goalie who responds well t adversity and he is expected to start tonight.
THE OTHER SIDE: Calgary has done an excellent job of containing the Sharks star,, Joe Thornton, thus far in the series. One of the top 10 point getters in the regular season he has three points in three games in the series, all assists. He has only five shots on net despite averaging about 23 minutes a game.
KEEP AN EYE ON: For the Flames: Alex Tanguay had a strong game for the Flames in Game 3 collecting his first point, an assist, in the series...Veteran Owen Nolan was very effective on the road in San Jose, bringing an edge to the rink every game. In Game 3 he scored the winner against his former team...For the Sharks: Grinding forward Ryane Clowe had 8 points in 15 regular season games but has five points in three games in this series. That puts him in heady territory just a point behind Pittsburgh stars Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa in the playoff scoring race.

THE ROSTER: The Flames are expected to ice the same line-up meaning F Dustin Boyd, D Anders Eriksson and F David Moss will be sitting. D Rhett Warrener (ankle) is now skating with the team .F Mark Smith (head, neck) is definitely out.

QUOTABLE 1: 'He's fine. He's ready to go. He's a really proud individual. Miikka's always responded and will play well when he plays his next game." Calgary coach Mike Keenan on goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
QUOTABLE: "Some of our boys are going to have to become men.We just kind of caved...How often have we seen that before? We have to show them that we won't be pushed around " -- Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov after his team collapsed in Game 3.

WORTH NOTING: Veteran Owen Nolan had three points in Game 3. Remember, in Game 2 he was robbed by Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov with about five minutes left in the game when the netminder made a snappy glove save...The Flames were a perfect 2-2 on the powerplay in Game 3 while killing four of the five penalties they received...The Flames outhit the Sharks 24-18 in Game 3.

BROADCASTS: CBC television and The Fan 960 radio
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