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Inside The Game: Flames vs. Sharks

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames
The San Jose Sharks struck first. They struck often, too.

Brent Burns scored 59 seconds into the game and Logan Couture iced it with 1:22 remaining as the Sharks downed the Calgary Flames 6-3 at the SAP Center on Saturday night.

The Sharks improve to 7-0-1 on the season and remain the only team not to lose in regulation this season, while the Flames have dropped their first two of a five-game trip away from Scotiabank Saddledome.

San Jose scored in both the first and last minute of the first period to stake a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

In the first minute of the game, Joe Pavelski capitalized on a turnover below the Flames goal line and fed Brent Burns out front, who quickly deposited the puck behind starter Karri Ramo to give the San Jose an early 1-0 lead.

It looked like Burns added his second of the period after a deflection on Scott Hannan’s shot eluded Ramo, but the puck instead hit a Flames defender to give the former Calgary defenceman his second of the season to extend the lead to 2-0 with 53 seconds remaining in the period.

Between the two goals, Burns almost had his second. After taking a stretch pass from Jason Demers, Burns broke in alone on Ramo but was interfered with by TJ Brodie. Awarded a penalty shot on the play, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound converted winger couldn’t capitalize.

It took the Flames just over two minutes to get back into the game in the second period and cut the lead to one.

On the power play with Tommy Wingels in the box for hooking, Sven Baertschi centered the puck to Sean Monahan, who beat Antti Niemi for his team-leading fifth of the season.

But on their own man advantage after Lee Stempniak was whistled for holding, the Sharks restored the cushion. Alone in the slot, Joe Pavelski redirected Patrick Marleau’s feed in the slot by Ramo at 8:57.

San Jose added another on the power play after Marleau scored his seventh of the season with just over two minutes remaining in the middle frame to give the Sharks a 4-1 advantage heading into the third.

Again, the Flames responded early the next period.

Despite finding themselves shorthanded for a seventh time in the game, Mikael Backlund buried Stempniak’s rebound just 1:33 into the third period to cut the lead to 4-2.

That lead was sliced to one at 3:56 with Jiri Hudler’s fourth of the season. Hudler took Monahan’s centering feed in the slot and hammered a shot that beat Niemi to bring the Flames to within one.

Pavelski, though, resotred the two-goal lead after redirecting a Logan Couture point shot by Ramo at 9:38 for the 5-3 advantage.

Couture found the scoresheet one more, icing the game with Ramo on the bench for the extra attacker.


Parked behind the net on the power play, Baertschi found Monahan alone in the slot, who rifled a shot by Niemi for his team-leading fifth of the season.


Just over five minutes into the second period, Ramo robbed Pavelski on a partial breakaway, taking away the five-hole to temporarily deny the Sharks of a 3-1 lead.


After drawing to within one on Monahan’s power play marker, Pavelski responded six minutes later with the man-advantage, restoring their two-goal lead and eventually skating away with the win.


With a goal and an assist, Monahan moves into a tie for second place in rookie scoring with five goals and eight points.


Blair Jones and Derek Smith were scratched for the Flames in Anaheim. Mike Cammalleri (upper body), David Jones (upper body) and Matt Stajan (upper body) missed the game against the Ducks due to injury.


The Flames continue their five-game road swing into the City of Angels as they get set to take on the Los Angeles Kings on Monday (8:30 p.m. MT, SNET-W).

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