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Flames return home to face Sharks

by Davis Harper

SHARKS (10-2-5) at FLAMES (6-9-2)


Last 10: San Jose 4-2-4; Calgary 3-7-0

Season series: This is the second of five meetings between the San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames. In the first game October 20, the Sharks scored three power-play goals to defeat the Flames 6-3 at SAP Center at San Jose.

Big story: San Jose, the NHL’s best team through the end of October, is winless in five straight with four coming after regulation. The Sharks will try to regroup from a 5-4 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday against the Flames, who return to Scotiabank Saddledome after a four-game road trip in which they went 1-3-0.

Team scope:

Sharks: Through the month of October, San Jose used a lethal power play and a stingy defense to rack up a League-leading 22 points. The past five games, however, have signaled a sharp departure from this recipe for success. San Jose is 4-for-23 on the man advantage over the skid, and has conceded four or more goals in four of those games after not allowing more than three all season.

Finishing has also become an issue. The Sharks are 1-4 in shootouts, including the loss Sunday to the Jets. San Jose led three times, but allowed Andrew Ladd to tie it late and could not convert in the shootout as Winnipeg prevailed.

Still, the Sharks saw some positives.

"It was better," captain Joe Thornton said. "We still got loose a couple of times out there. We're just unable to finish right now. [But] things like that are going to happen. We just have to get better each day and get two points in Calgary."

Flames: If there was ever a successful 1-3-0 road trip, the Flames just finished it. Calgary started the swing by edging the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center, 3-2 in overtime. After a lopsided loss to the Minnesota Wild, Calgary battled two of the NHL’s hottest teams, the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, to one-goal defeats on consecutive nights.

The Flames outplayed and outshot the Avalanche for much of the game Friday, a view acknowledged by many in the Colorado locker room. For Calgary coach Bob Hartley, however, a loss is nothing but that.

“Good points, bad points, this league is not a feel good league,” Hartley said. “Moral victories don’t exist and we need to put points on the board. We got two out of eight. It’s just not good enough.”

Who’s hot: The Sharks' Tomas Hertl, who leads all NHL rookies with 10 goals, has two goals and three assists over a three-game point streak. Mike Cammalleri has three goals in Calgary’s past two outings.

Injury report: San Jose is without three wingers who started the season among the top lines. Brent Burns (upper body), Adam Burish (lower body) and Raffi Torres (right-knee surgery) are all on injured reserve. … The Flames will get forward Lee Stempniak back in the lineup. Defenseman Mark Giordano (broken ankle), and defenseman Christopher Breen (strained abdominal) are on injured reserve. Left wing Curtis Glencross (sprained MCL) is out indefinitely.

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