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Late goal lifts Flames past Sharks

Hamilton's tally with 2:19 left secures win over Pacific-leading San Jose

by Ty Pilson @TyPilson /

CALGARY, AB -- Alright Hamilton!

Defenceman Dougie Hamilton scored the game-winner with 2:19 left to play Wednesday night as the Flames edged the Pacific leading San Jose Sharks 3-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Hamilton took a pass from Mark Giordano and fired the puck short-side past Sharks goalie Aaron Dell to secure the W.

In a back-and-forth third period, the Sharks got an earlier golden chance to take the lead when TJ Brodie got tied up with Mikkel Boedker who was on a partial breakaway, leading the ref to point to centre and give Boedker a penalty shot.

Boedker swooped in from Flames goalie Chad Johnson's left on his forehand and tried to pull it to his backhand but Johnson made the save.

"On the penalty shot I just tried to stay with him," recalled Johnson. "I played with him in Phoenix. I tried to go back in the memory log there and tried to remember what he did. I just kind of got lucky and made the saves."

With the victory, the Flames improved to 23-19-2 on the season and remain in a wildcard playoff spot.

"We've done a good job here of beating the teams below us," said Flames' coach Glen Gulutzan. "The teams above us, though, we haven't done as good of a job [beating].

"I didn't think we were great here tonight, San Jose has played back-to-back and I think we can be better."

Logan Couture opened the scoring in the game, putting the Sharks up 1-0 after he tipped a point shot by Brent Burns past Johnson just after the midway point of the first period.

The Flames answered back less than two minutes later when Derek Engelland's point shot off a pass from Matthew Tkachuk led to a goal-mouth scramble, with Michael Frolik ending up between Dell and the net, sweeping in the loose puck that was laying in the crease behind Dell for his 11th goal of the season.

Video: SJS@CGY: Tkachuk deflects Backlund's shot in for PPG

Dell, an Airdrie native, was appearing in just his seventh career NHL contest.

"There's a lot of people you know that are watching the game so there is a lot of pressure, especially in the first game," said Johnson of Dell. "It's exciting. I remember my first game [in Calgary] and I was jittery and I was excited. There were a lot of emotions went into it being from Calgary. He played a good game."

Burns - the man with the best beard in the league, although teammate Joe Thornton may dispute that - put San Jose up 2-1 when he scored his 17th of the season with a long-range shot while he was nestled up against the boards just inside the blueline.

The Flames had a handful of solid scoring chances in the second period but couldn't convert until late in the frame on the powerplay when Tkachuk scored his 8th of the season with 31.7 seconds left, tipping in Mikael Backlund's shot from the high slot.

The final shots were 28-27 for the Flames. 

NOTES: The Flames saluted our military men and women in uniform Wednesday night by hosting the 11th Annual Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night. The team wore special camouflaged jerseys for warmup that are being auctioned off -- visit … Dennis Wideman is just three tallies away from reaching the 100-goal plateau for his career … Alex Chiasson is just four points away from 100 career points.

UP NEXT: The latest installment of the Battle of Alberta unfolds up the QEII Saturday night when the Flames visit the Oilers at Rogers Place (8 p.m. MT, CBC, FAN960).

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