Less than four minutes into Game 3 of their series with the San Jose Sharks
, it appeared as if the Calgary Flames
were going to be blown out of their own building.
was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots. Curtis Joseph
was called upon in relief once Douglas Murray
gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead just 3:33 into the contest.
From that point on, however, it was a different game.
Joseph stopped all 22 shots he faced, and Owen Nolan
broke a 3-3 tie with 3:45 remaining in regulation as the Flames rallied for a 4-3 victory in front of a raucous crowd at the Pengrowth Saddledome. Calgary now has a 2-1 series lead and can back the Sharks up against the wall with another win in Game 4, which takes place on Tuesday night in the same venue.
Calgary quickly got off on the wrong foot, as Stephane Yelle
was hit with a slashing penalty just 26 seconds into the game. Just over a minute later, Ryane Clowe
gave San Jose a 1-0 lead when his 30-foot wrister beat Kiprusoff. Sharks captain Patrick Marleau
put his team up by a pair at 3:19 of the first, when he redirected Clowe’s shot for his first goal of the postseason.
Fourteen seconds later, it was 3-0, as Murray took a pass from Jonathan Cheechoo
and fired a slap shot past Kiprusoff, ending the Flames’ netminder’s night.
“I thought we were pretty energized in practice (on Saturday) and this morning,” Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. “The way it unfolded quickly … they came out hard and they attacked the net. They set us back on our heels a little bit, but we responded. We finished it off strong.”
Jarome Iginla got the Flames off life support when he scored on the power play with 6:38 remaining in the first. After Matt Carle was whistled for roughing, Iginla was able to redirect Dion Phaneuf’s shot from just inside the left point past Evgeni Nabokov to make it 3-1.
With the Flames on another power play, Daymond Langkow cut the deficit to 3-2 at 10:14 of the second period. The big center parked himself in front of the net and slammed a loose puck past Nabokov for his first goal of the playoffs.
“They got a power play, and we didn’t do a very good job of killing it,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “They scored on their two power plays and in the third period, we made a couple of turnovers in our own end. The wingers didn’t get the puck out in simple situations, and it came back to haunt us. It was very basic. Those are preventable mistakes. Unfortunately, we made them.”
Phaneuf completed the comeback when he tallied his second goal of the series just 1:18 into the third period. With the teams at even strength, Phaneuf fired a slap shot from the left point that deflected off the skate of San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past Nabokov to make it 3-3.
Joseph’s biggest save of the night was a shoulder stop he made on Clowe roughly six minutes into the third period with the game tied, as San Jose failed to capitalize on a too many men on the ice penalty on Calgary.
"Miikka's the best goalie in the League as far as I'm concerned. I've been saying that for a few years now," Joseph said. "I know my role, and I was glad to help tonight."
On the winning goal, Nolan skated out of the corner with the puck, and used both Brian Campbell and Joe Thornton as a screen before the veteran forward blasted a slap shot into the top corner from the top of the faceoff circle.
"It was definitely discouraging to see the way we came out, but we realized once we got our
composure back, got our work ethic going, that we would be all right," Nolan said.
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.