The San Jose Sharks try to forge their first three-game winning streak to start a season since the 1999-2000 campaign end a three-game losing streak to the Calgary Flames in the first stop of a three-game road trip Monday.
San Jose’s offense has the attention of every team around the league, but it is their defense which has come up big. Only five clubs have allowed fewer goals than Team Teal and a dramatic factor in that is the Sharks ability to stop opponent’s power plays. Six teams with two games played are perfect on the penalty kill and the Sharks are one of those six clubs, however, Team Teal is once again staying out of the box. Of the same six clubs, the Sharks have had to kill off the fewest penalties, just eight over the two contests.
Then with the power play, the Sharks are among the league’s best early, connecting 28.6 percent of the time. On the other side, Calgary has yet to score a power play goal this season.
The Sharks dropped their final three meetings against the Flames last season, including a 2-0 setback on March 4. San Jose was shut out by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who improved to 4-1 lifetime in six starts against the Sharks.
Following a 2-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday, San Jose started its new campaign with consecutive victories for the first time in six seasons. Evgeni Nabokov turned away 26 shots en route to earning his 28th career shutout and defenseman Matt Carle and Christian Ehrhoff both scored a goal.
Calgary is coming off its first win of the season Saturday, a 2-1 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers. Marcus Nilson and Stephane Yelle both tallied while Kiprusoff made 21 saves.
The Flames finished with a 3-1-0 record against the Sharks last season.
Vesa Toskala appears to be getting the call in the nets as the first Sharks goalie off the ice at the morning skate.
BELL STAYS HOME
Winger Mark Bell stayed home from the trip due to a groin injury and could be placed on the injured reserve list. Ryane Clowe, who had been on the injured reserved list since the beginning of the season, did accompany the team to Calgary. If Clowe is cleared to paly, he could take the place of Mark Smith on the fourth, as Smith is slotted to jump into Bell's slot alongside Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo.
The contest, which will be carried at 5 p.m. on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com, will provide flashes to the past for Sharks fans. On the ice, former Sharks Jeff Friesen, Andrei Zyuzin and Miikka Kiprusoff skate for the Flames.