It seemed as if the Sharks were headed for a fan pleasing come-from-behind victory against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night. San Jose led 3-2 with three minutes remaining, but surrendered the tying tally with less than 60 seconds left in the third and then allowed the game-winning goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in overtime.
Things got tricky for the Sharks when Jonathan Cheechoo was called for a delay-of-game penalty late in the third when his clearing attempt sailed over the glass in the defensive zone.
“I’ve got to make a better play than that,” said Cheechoo. “It was a bad penalty to take. I was trying to get it up off the glass and shot it a little too high. It gave them a six-on-four and they capitalized.”
“He should have gone a lot harder to the puck and been prepared,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson.
Still, the Sharks had a chance to clear the zone as Calgary had pulled their netminder and, due to the power play, icing could not be called.
“We gave the puck away in our zone,” said Wilson. “Rissmiller got the puck and should have chipped it to the corner. He thought he was making a good play and put it right to the defenseman. We didn’t block the shot.”
San Jose was a dominating force for most of the night, more than doubling up Calgary in shots 43-18, but the limited time they didn’t play correctly was costly.
“(We) erased quite an effort by becoming passive in the last three or four minutes,” said Wilson.
“The way we played tonight should have been good enough to win the game,” said Mike Grier. “It is not a time for moral victories. We’ve got to find a way to get the two points. We’ve got to make plays.”
The Sharks appeared to take the foot off the gas pedal late in the contest.
“We got the power play (goal) and stopped forechecking right after that,” said Wilson.
The Sharks want to ensure they don’t continue to allow late tallies.
“It’s disappointing,” said Grier. “It shouldn’t be happening. This team prides itself in blocked shots and playing in our own end. It’s probably happened in three to four games that we’ve given up a goal late to tie or lose the game.”
Errors like this will only be heightened when the postseason starts.
“We have to get it straightened out before the playoffs,” said Grier. “We’re too good of a team for this to keep happening.”
FLAMES, HEAD COACH, MIKE KEENAN: “We got ourselves in penalty trouble tonight which we have not done in a long, long time. We are going to address that for sure, but that really has not been a problem for a long time and we’ve got to make sure that we stay out of the box.”
“Well the west is tight and tonight we just jumped up two more spots and we were able to drop a couple of teams behind us. It’s an ongoing story and every night is the biggest game of the year.”
NEXT GAME The Sharks will host Edmonton Thursday night to close out their season long six-game homestand. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com.