CALGARY - Benn Ferriero scored the only goal and Antti Niemi made 25 saves Tuesday night as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames 1-0 in both teams' last game before the NHL all-star break.
Ferriero's goal came at 11:35 of the third period on a scramble in front of the Flames net. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made stops on Dan Boyle and Logan Couture before the puck bounced in the air where Ferriero gloved it down and slapped it in.
Calgary generated only 11 shots during the first 40 minutes, but Niemi was much busier in the third period en route to his third shutout of the season.
The 28-year-old goalie made three excellent saves to keep the game scoreless, including a glove save off Mikael Backlund on the opening shift of the third. He also got a glove on Alex Tanguay?s backhand attempt on a breakaway five minutes later, and jabbed out a pad to deny Tim Jackman on a dangerous rebound from close-in.
Niemi was again tested in the final 90 seconds as the Flames pulled their goalie and poured on the pressure. Flames forwards Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen both had dangerous chances but couldn't beat the Finnish goaltender.
It was a bounce-back game for Niemi, who got the night off Monday night against the Oilers after giving up four goals in each of his previous two starts.
San Jose (27-14-6) snaps a three-game winless skid and go into the break in first place in the Pacific Division, two points up on the L.A. Kings.
Calgary (23-21-6) has lost two straight at home on the heels of an eight-game winning streak. The Flames were back at home after a successful three-game road trip in which they earned five of a possible six points.
The only game they didn???t win was a 2-1 shootout loss to the Sharks last Tuesday.
Kiprusoff???s best stop over the initial two periods was a scrambling paddle stop off Patrick Marleau who was at the side of the net trying to get his stick on a loose puck.
Kiprusoff finished with 26 saves.
Notes: Tanguay (neck) returned after missing 15 games??? San Jose D Brent Burns (knee) did not play after getting hurt Monday night in Edmonton??? Sharks dressed seven defencemen with Jim Vandermeer (upper body), playing his first game since Dec. 6, centring the fourth line??? Newly sidelined for the Flames is LW Lance Bouma (foot) and C Matt Stajan (ankle)??? Calgary is the only NHL team without a short-handed goal??? Kiprusoff moved past Glenn (Chico) Resch into sole possession of 45th spot in games played (572) by a goaltender??? Calgary falls to 11-4-6 in one-goal games.