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Sharks open Alberta trip vs. Flames @NHLdotcom

SHARKS (46-18-8) at FLAMES (29-35-7)


Last 10: San Jose 7-1-2; Calgary 6-4-0

Season series: The San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames will play for the fifth and final time. San Jose has won three of the four games, and Joe Pavelski has four goals and seven points for the Sharks.

Big story: The Sharks look to avoid losing two games in a row for the first time in almost two months, and the Flames will attempt to play spoiler as they begin a three-game homestand, all against teams that would qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs entering Monday.

Team Scope:

Sharks: San Jose has picked up points in 13 of its past 15 games to overtake the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks visit Calgary and then Edmonton, each of which they lost to during a trip through Alberta in January.

"We didn't [have success] the last time through, and they are both teams that are trying to work on their identity down the stretch here," coach Todd McLellan said after the Sharks' 3-2 shootout loss against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. "[Calgary] is bringing some useful prospects through their lineups. [Calgary] will be prepared to play hard, and we will have to match that."

The Sharks have won five of their past six road games.

"We played well. We probably should have won the game, but we didn't," captain Joe Thornton said after the game Saturday. "We just got to continue getting points. With 10 games left every point is going to be important from here on out."

Flames: The offensively challenged Flames have scored 28 regulation goals their past seven games, including an 8-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Still, they rank 22nd in the NHL in goals with 2.48 per game.

"It's been a challenge for us to produce offense this year. It's nice to see pucks go in like they did. You don't expect to score eight goals every night, but it's nice to get that feeling where you feel like the puck is going to go in the net," forward Mike Cammalleri said.

Calgary might have a tougher time scoring against the Sharks, who allow 2.32 goals per game, fourth in the League.

Who's hot: Sharks goalie Antti Niemi has allowed seven goals in four games and has a .935 save percentage. Left wing Patrick Marleau has four goals in his past six games. … Flames forward Mikael Backlund has at least a point in six of seven games. Cammalleri has 10 goals in March, including eight goals in his past seven games.

Injury report: Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (knee) and defenseman Brad Stuart (upper body) are on injured reserve. Forward Raffi Torres (knee) is out. … Flames forwards David Jones (shoulder) and Markus Granlund (upper body) and defenseman Dennis Wideman (upper body) are out.

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