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Flames continue road trip at San Jose

by Deborah Francisco
FLAMES  (37-27-11) AT SHARKS (42-23-8)

TVSNET-West (HD),CSN-California (HD)

Last 10: Calgary 4-4-2; San Jose 6-2-2.

Season series – This is the fourth and final meeting between these two Western conference rivals this season. Calgary dominated the first meeting in a 4-0 performance on Oct. 24. However San Jose won each of the next two meetings, both decided by a 4-3 score.

Big story – With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, the implications of this Western Conference tilt are tantamount for both teams. The Flames have just seven regular season games left and are right in the fray for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Sharks sit in third place with 92 points, but are by no means in the clear considering the tight-knit race in the West.

Team Scope:

Flames – Calgary garnered two points in the first two games of a four-game road trip, but dropped the possible extra point in two straight games.

The first came in a heartbreaking, 5-4, OT loss to the Ducks on Sunday after the Flames rallied back from a three-goal deficit to take the lead but were bounced in the extra session. They also fell, 2-1, in a shootout to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

"It was just one of those nights where you knew it was going to be a tight game right from the start to the finish," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said on Monday's contest. "It was like a Game 7 playoffs, and you can't ask for anymore than that."

Sharks – San Jose celebrated a decisive, 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, but lost enigmatic rookie Logan Couture in the second period. Couture, who boasts 48 points in 70 games (27 goals, 21 assists) was helped off the ice with an apparent right leg injury. There is no official word on his status for Wednesday's game.

"You could see he was in pain," center Joe Pavelski said. "He's meant a lot to this team. He's been great. He brings a lot of energy to our team. But we have guys who are more than capable of stepping up. We hope it's nothing serious. Hopefully he doesn't even miss a day. If it is (serious), hopefully he's back before crunch time gets going."

Despite the loss of Couture, the Sharks completely dominated the Blues on Saturday starting with a three goal lead in the first 8 minutes of play.

Who's hotTom Kostopoulos boasts four points in three games (2 goals, 2 assists) including his three-point performance on Sunday night. …  Joe Pavelski notched two goals and an assist in his last contest and has 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in four games.

Injury report – For the Flames forward David Moss (ankle) and defenseman Adam Pardy (shoulder) are out indefinitely. Niklas Hagman is out with concussion-like symptoms; the Flames recalled 2008 first-rounder Greg Nemisz on Tuesday. … In San Jose, Couture left Saturday's game in the second period and never returned after sustaining a left leg injury. He skated Tuesday, but his status for Wednesday is unknown. Defenseman Niclas Wallin (head) is still day-to-day. Defenseman Kent Huskins (upper body) and forward Scott Nichol are also out.

Stat pack – The Sharks have scored at least one power-play goal in a season-high seven straight games.

Puck drop – "We would have loved to get two points, and we know in our remaining games we're going to have to get a ton of them. So we've got to keep our heads up and keep playing like that." – Flames captain Jarome Iginla

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