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SHARK BIT

Flames stymied with just one goal in loss to San Jose

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

The Flames didn't capitalize on enough of their chances.

The Sharks did.

That, ultimately, was the difference Tuesday night as the Flames dropped their second straight at the Scotiabank Saddledome, falling 3-1 to the visitors from Northern California.

Coming off a 8-3 loss to the Oilers Saturday night in Round 4 of the Battle of Alberta, the Flames were seeking a victory in the second game of this three-game homestand.

A slow start - allowing two goals to the Oilers in the first minute-and-a-half - put them behind the eight-ball Saturday.

From there, they were forced to chase the game all night.

The Flames were creating early Tuesday with a jump in their step, coming out with a much quicker start.

They were tighter on defence, and slinging the puck around in the offensive zone. 

Sean Monahan made a lovely pass from behind the Sharks net out into the slot, where Noah Hanifin skated into it and let a shot fly but San Jose 'tender Aaron Dell made the stop.

David Rittich brought the crowd to its feet when he rushed out of his net to beat Melker Karlsson in a race to a loose puck some 15 feet into the Flames zone, Rittich smoothering the puck as he slide and then getting to his feet to pass it up in one motion.

Matthew Tkachuk then made a similar play to the aforementioned Hanifin chance, passing it out from the trapezoid to Mark Giordano, whose slot blast was also gobbled up by Dell.

With less than two minutes to go in the frame, Milan Lucic levelled Sharks forward Evander Kane along the boards near the Flames bench.

Barclay Goodrow followed Lucic up the ice and the two dropped the gloves, Lucic winning the brief dustup, early on holding back after Goodrow fell, allowing him to get back on his feet. 

Lucic was a force all night, throwing his body around with big hits and making some nice plays with the puck.

There were no goals in the first period, but the numbers favoured the homeside.

They outshot San Jose 16-9, led 10-4 in scoring chances and 6-2 in high-danger chances.

Right before the first expired, Kane was sent off for high-sticking Mikael Backlund.

The Flames capitilized on that powerplay to start the second, Johnny Gaudreau scoring his 14th of the season off a cross-ice give-and-go with Elias Lindholm just 59 seconds in.

Giordano got the other assist.

 

Video: SJS@CGY: Gaudreau slams in Lindholm's pass for PPG

 

Brent Burns tied it up at 3:57 off a Calgary turnover near centre-ice, the big San Jose defenceman taking a pass from Joe Thornton as he skated into the Flames zone and unloaded a rocket that beat Rittich high, far-side.

Kane made it 2-1 when he slipped his man and skated towards the net all alone, Goodrow feathering a pass under the stick of TJ Brodie right onto Kane's tape for a tight-angle one-timer.

Later in the period, Giordano left the game after twisting ackwardly and going down in the splits on a shot, before getting up and skating off gingerly.

In the third, the Flames kept pressing but it was the Sharks who would get their third goal on their third shot of the period, Kevin Labanc driving across the slot and firing a backhand in the net at 7:45.

Dell finished the night with 30 saves and was named the game's No.-1 star.

 

THEY SAID IT:

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON MISSED OPPORTUNITIES:

"We threw a lot at him, but we didn't get many second chances. We've got to get more to the net and take away the eyes a little bit more. Too many one-and-dones tonight. Once they made it 2-1, we were on our heels a little bit, but we still had some chances. We just couldn't bear down and they capitalized on the chances they had."

MIKAEL BACKLUND ON TOUGH HOME LOSS:

"Not the result we wanted. I thought we had our looks, but again, it's not good enough and we didn't win the game. These are the games you've got to win - at home. Not good enough from our side."

SEAN MONAHAN ON FLAT SECOND AND THIRD PERIOD:

"We just lost 8-3 and you've got to come out with a better effort than that. You don't want to lose two games in a row. After you get smacked like we did against Edmonton, you've got to bounce back and we didn't do that tonight."

MICHAEL STONE ON PLAYING FIRST GAME IN A MONTH:

"(I felt])good. I was excited to get back in there. There were a couple of timing plays where I felt a little rusty, but other than that I felt pretty good."

GEOFF WARD ON DEFENSIVE PLAY:

"Overall, we were happy with the defensive productivity that we had, but the three breakdowns that we had that allowed them to score were big breakdowns. On one hand, we're happy with where the number of pucks were that we gave up from the inside, which is much improved. But at the same point in time, we allowed them three real good chances on the inside that they capitalized on and those were all on us for sure."

WARD ON FRUSTRATION IN THE ROOM:

"Everybody's frustrated, for sure. A little bit. I'd prefer that we were more angry than frustrated, because I think it's a totally different emotion. I think the bottom line for us is, we talked about it before - I don't think frustration does a whole lot for you. I think anger does a lot more for you. When we're sick and tired as a group of seeing this and losing games, we'll find a way to fix it. But more than anything, you've got to hate losing. I hope the emotion is more anger than frustration so that we're more prepared to do something about it. With frustration, you kind of feel like it's out of your control. Everything that's happening out there is inside our control and we've got to react in the right way to get our game back and get going in the right direction again."

WARD ON CONCERN RE: GIORDANO'S INJURY:

"He's our captain, he's our leader. He plays a lot of minutes for us on the backend on our top pair, and on special teams. It's potentially a huge loss, so we'll worry about things as they unfold. Right now it's all speculation, so we'll wait and see what the doctors say and we'll go from there."

 

READ MORE IN SAY WHAT - 'NOT GOOD ENOUGH'

 

ONE-TIMERS:

The Sharks won the first meeting between these teams back on Oct. 13 by a 3-1 final ... The Flames have a record of 15-14-4 against Western Conference opponents and are 8-8-1 against the Pacific Division ... Lindholm is seven assists shy of 200 for his career ... Monahan (188 goals) needs just one goal to tie Kent Nilsson (189 goals) for the ninth in Calgary Flames franchise history. Monahan has 16 goals on the season and 188 in his career with the Flames ... Gaudreau is now tied with Hakan Loob (428 pts w/ Flames) for ninth most points in Flames history ... Dell is a native of Airdrie and played his junior hockey for the AJHL's Calgary Canucks from 2007 to 2009 ... Thornton got an assist on Labanc's goal, making him just the 14th player in NHL history to record 1,500 points.

 

THE LINEUP:

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Your @Schneiders starters vs. San Jose! pic.twitter.com/h2ompxOiPp

 

The trios and d-pairings to start the tilt:

FORWARDS

Andrew Mangiapane - Elias Lindholm - Matthew Tkachuk

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Buddy Robinson

Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube

Mark Jankowski - Mikael Backlund - Sam Bennett

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - Rasmus Andersson

TJ Brodie - Travis Hamonic

Noah Hanifin - Michael Stone

GOALTENDER

David Rittich

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames finish off this quick homestand when they host the Predators Thursday night (click here for tickets), before heading out for a road trip that starts in Vancouver on Saturday night and finishes off with stops in San Jose, L.A. and Anaheim.

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