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Last Minute Goals Cost Sharks In 4-3 (OT) Loss To Flames

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks continued their season-high, six-game home stand on Tuesday night, hosting the Calgary Flames at HP Pavilion at San Jose. Former teammates Evgeni Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff manned the nets for their respective teams.

Captain Patrick Marleau missed his first game of the season, sidelined with a groin injury that also kept him out of the final two periods on Saturday night against Nashville. Marleau’s vacant spot left room for Marcel Goc’s return to the lineup.

The Sharks carried the play in the opening minutes of the first, registering scoring chances in each of their first three shifts, but Kiprusoff made key saves to keep San Jose off the scoreboard.

An innocent looking play just 4:20 in led to the first goal of the game. Former Shark Owen Nolan made a strong play to hold the puck in the Sharks zone at the blueline, then fired a shot towards the slot that was deflected by Daymond Langkow and in over Nabokov’s right shoulder for the 1-0 lead.

The two teams traded minor penalties and abbreviated power plays, but neither team was able to set up while on the man advantage.

With 8:20 to play in the first, Goc made his return to the lineup known, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Taking a chip shot pass off the glass from linemate Jody Shelley, Goc beat a flat-footed Dion Phaneuf in a race to the puck, then ripped a wrist shot from his off-wing that beat Kiprusoff low and to the left.

The period closed tied at 1-1, but San Jose was clearly the aggressor in the opening frame outshooting Calgary 18-5.

On Calgary’s sixth shot of the game, they would take a 2-1 lead. An odd bounce set the puck down to the right side of Nabokov. As he moved over to cover the rubber disk, former Shark Mark Smith came crashing in. The net was lifted off its moorings just as the puck crossed the line, but the video ruling was it crossed in time.

San Jose failed on two power plays in the middle of the second stanza and the deficit remained in place. Former Shark Owen Nolan nearly made it a two-goal lead when he skated in alone on Nabokov. San Jose’s netminder made the stop, but the puck bounced in the air and had a shot to cross the line. Craig Rivet was Johnny-on-the-spot and batted the vulcanized rubber out of mid-air and saved the moment.

San Jose was 0-3 in second period power plays, but when Calgary tested the water a fourth time, San Jose tied the contest. With 32 seconds remaining in the second, Milan Michalek found some room down low, made a move and slid the puck across the empty half of the net.

The Flames celebrate Daymond Langkow's first period goal against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 12, 2008, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The contest that was tied at one after 20 minutes would be tied at two following 40 minutes of action.

Despite their dramatic shot advantage on the evening, San Jose did not take the lead until the middle of the third. Doing the dirty work along the end boards, Patrick Rissmiller and Torrey Mitchell gained possession behind Kiprusoff. Mitchell sent the puck out front to Mike Grier who fired on net. Before it could reach the crease, Rissmiller chipped it with his stick, sending it across the line for the 3-2 lead.

With less than three minutes remaining, Jonathan Cheechoo was called for a delay of game penalty when he attempted to clear the puck out of the Sharks defensive zone and it sailed over the glass. Calgary took advantage of the power play and pulled Kiprusoff for the two-man advantage and with 49.8 left in regulation, Dion Phaneuf scored an unassisted goal to send the game into overtime.

Over the first four minutes of overtime, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Carle both had shots from the point that were turned aside by Kipprusoff and Lombardi had a breakaway that Nabokov was able to stop with a sliding save. However, with 24.9 remaining, Iginla won the game for Calgary with a one-timer that beat Nabokov on his short side.

After outshooting the Flames 43-18, the Sharks fell to Calgary, 4-3 (OT).


Rissmiller - Mitchell - Grier
Michalek - Thornton - Cheechoo
Plihal - Roenick - Bernier
Shelley - Pavelski - Goc

McLaren - Ehrhoff
Carle - Rivet
Ozolinsh - Vlasic

Nabokov - Patzold

The Sharks return to action Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.

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