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Home Woes Continue, Sharks Fall 3-2 In Overtime

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks four-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday when San Jose fell to the Calgary Flames in overtime, 3-2, at HP Pavilion.

The starting goaltenders featured a matchup of former teammates Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff. The two played together for San Jose from 2001-03.

It was not even one minute into the contest when Calgary struck with the opening goal. Following a San Jose rush on the opposite end, Alex Tanguay led a two-on-one rush. He held the puck the entire time and lasered his shot to the far post for the 1-0 lead.



San Jose hoped for a quick response when Matthew Lombardi was called for hooking and Team Teal had the first power play of the night. They initially had trouble setting up, but with 15 ticks left on the advantage, Torrey Mitchell found the equalizer.

As the puck moved to Christian Ehrhoff at the point, he rifled a shot to the slot. Jonathan Cheechoo was parked in front and the puck was stopped by the traffic. Mitchell was Johnny-on-the-spot and pushed the rubber across the line to tie things at one.

Calgary’s Kristian Huselius looked to regain the lead on a brief Flames power play, but a diving Ehrhoff intercepted the puck as Huselius closed in on Nabokov.

With 3:34 left in the first, Calgary made it 2-1 and it was Huselius who started the action. He carried the puck across the zone and while it was knocked away, it still moved toward the net. Daymond Langkow reached it fist and dropped a slick backhand near the top of the crease. Jarome Iginla found it first at the feet of Marcel Goc and the former scoring champ knocked it in.

The visiting Flames took the 2-1 lead to the first intermission.

An early Flames penalty provided San Jose with two second period scoring chances. First, Mitchell led a two-on-one with Mike Grier. Mitchell’s pass made it through to an open Grier, but it was into his skates so he couldn’t put it in the empty net. Then as the two minutes expired, Curtis Brown hit Patrick Marleau coming out of the box, but Kiprusoff made the stop.

San Jose found the equalizer with 6:06 left in the middle period. As Calgary looked to be easily clearing their defensive zone, Jeremy Roenick forced a turnover at the blueline. Craig Rivet gathered the puck and fired to Kiprusoff who could not locate it with the big bodies in front. It marked the third consecutive game San Jose had recorded a tally from a defenseman.

Team Teal was forcing the bulk of the offensive action, outshooting Calgary 27-14 through 40 minutes of play, but the score remained deadlocked at two.

Sharks forward Marcel Goc is chased by Flames left wing Kristian Huselius on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Scoring chances were limited the opening part of the third, but offensive puck control by two separate Sharks lines brought ovations from the home fans.

Initially, it was domination down low by Thornton, Michalek and Bernier, that brought the cheers. Not to be outdone on the ensuing shift, the Sharks trio of Marleau, Goc and Grier came down and kept Calgary on their toes for a similar amount of time. The hard work continued as Dion Phaneuf took a delay of game penalty to stop the Sharks momentum.

The resulting power play did not produce a goal and the final eight minutes of regulation expired without any scoring. The Sharks and Flames were headed to overtime.

Like they had all game, the Sharks came out firing and dominated Calgary in the opening minutes of extra time. Mitchell had the Sharks greatest scoring chance when he beat Cory Sarich along the left side and used his speed to get Kiprusoff out of position on the edge of the goal. The rookie forward moved the puck to his forehand, but lost control of it as he skated through the crease of the wide open goal.

Then, as quickly as they had scored in the opening period, Calgary came right back and converted for the game winner. When the Flames dumped the puck behind the goal and a great bounce let it on the side of the crease, Phaneuf was there to shuffle it back to a wide open Iginla. The Flames captain fired home his 31st goal of the season, gaving the Flames the 3-2 win.

LINES
Michalek-Thornton-Bernier
Goc-Marleau-Grier
Rissmiller-Mitchell-Cheechoo
Brown-Pavelski-Roenick

Vlasic-McLaren
Rivet-Carle
Ehrhoff-Murray

Nabokov-Patzold

NEXT GAME
San Jose will host Columbus Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and limited tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com

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