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Sharks look to extend winning streak to seven

by Matthew Mankiewich /

FLAMES (13-18-4) at SHARKS (19-11-6)


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

Season series: Final and deciding match of the three-game series, the first two at the Scotiabank Saddledome were split by 4-1 scores.

Big story: Two teams going in different directions. The San Jose Sharks extended their winning streak to six on Wednesday with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild and snuck past the Los Angeles Kings for the fifth seed in the Western Conference, all while making adjustments to their roster at the NHL Trade Deadline. The Sharks shipped Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers and replaced him by trading for Raffi Torres, and picked up some defensive help by reacquiring Scott Hannan.

The Calgary Flames are in full rebuilding mode, sending Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues and Blake Comeau to the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to Wednesday afternoon's deadline.

Team Scope:

Flames: Calgary certainly looks like a rebuilding team -- and then some. The provincial rival Edmonton Oilers came to town looking to pick up a couple of points, just not as easily as it turned out. The Flames opened an early lead but the Oilers proceeded to torch them by an 8-2 score that got Calgary thinking about how it wanted to finish the season.

"You guys think we just sit in here and put our head down and go home," Matt Stajan said to the Flames website. "Trust me, we talk about it. Last night wasn't acceptable. We talked about it. The last few games haven't been acceptable. It's on us to change it. Talk as much as you want, we said what needs to be said and now it's on us to turn it around. We've had a tough time on the road and it's a great place for us to get a better feeling in this dressing room."

Sharks: Torres has two significant hits to Sharks players to his credit. While with the Oilers in 2006, he took an open-ice run at Milan Michalek that helped turn a 2-0 Sharks lead into a 4-2 second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series loss. Five years later in a Vancouver Canucks uniform, Torres laid a shoulder-separating blow on Joe Thornton that hurt the Sharks' chances in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. For Thornton, it pays to have a short memory, and if fans anticipated a confrontation when Torres entered the dressing room, it just wasn't happening.

"Oh no," Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News. "I don't think too many guys know him too much so it's just kind of like, 'Hey how are you? My name's Joe. Nice to meet you, Raffi.' "

Torres said, "What happens on the ice, stays on the ice -- and it's a different model when you're in the room and now you're part of the team. Hopefully we can put that stuff behind us and look to the future."

Who's hot: Stajan scored both Flames goals Wednesday and has three points in the past three games. … Thornton extended his points streak to four games with back-to-back goal-and-assist performances. Goalie Antti Niemi extended his personal winning streak to six games and he's allowed nine goals over the stretch, none on the power play.

Injury report: Flames defenseman Derek Smith (lower body) is questionable for Friday. Defenseman Mark Giordano will be out; he will be with his wife for the birth of their first child, and therefore questionable for the back-to-back against the Canucks on Saturday as well. … Torres is questionable for Friday as coach Todd McLellan figures out a way to work him in. Hannan (neck) is not expected to make his Sharks debut for at least a week. Goalie Thomas Greiss (neck) is day-to-day, as is defenseman Jason Demers (head), who has returned to practice.

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