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Preview: Flames vs. Sharks

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

SHARKS (35-23-6) at FLAMES (27-34-4)

TV: CSN-CA, SNW, NHL.TV (7:00 PM MT)

Season series: The San Jose Sharks are 2-1-1 against the Calgary Flames, who won 6-5 in a shootout at SAP Center on Feb. 11 in their most recent game. Logan Couture’s six points (two goals) lead San Jose; Joe Thornton (two goals), Patrick Marleau (two goals) and Brent Burns (one goal) each has five. Sean Monahan’s three goals lead Calgary; Mikael Backlund has two goals and three assists.

Sharks team scope: San Jose will play the first game of a back-to-back set in Alberta that concludes Tuesday at the Edmonton Oilers. After a 4-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak, coach Pete DeBoer is hoping the Sharks can bounce back against the two teams with the fewest points in the Western Conference. "All year, when we've had games like we had (on Saturday), we've bounced back big, and I expect the same here coming up this week," DeBoer told the San Jose Mercury News. The Sharks allowed three power-play goals in the loss to the Canucks, and their penalty kill’s 79 percent success rate was 23rd in the League entering Sunday. Burns has three goals and three assists during a three-game point streak, and Thornton has a goal and four assists during a four-game streak.

Flames team scope: Goaltender Joni Ortio is expected to start after he got his first NHL victory since Jan. 19, 2015, in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Ortio has allowed 13 goals and has a .914 save percentage in his past five games. “He is so proud and he is so competitive that you push for him," coach Bob Hartley said of Ortio. "He always gives you a chance to win. He gets in net, he competes hard; he’s tracking the puck well." Calgary returns home to begin a six-game homestand after going 1-3-0 on a four-game road trip. The win Saturday ended a seven-game losing streak and a 1-9-1 stretch. “You don’t want to be known as a losing team,’’ Backlund told the Calgary Herald on Saturday. “It was a tough stretch for us, but today was a great game for us.’’

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