SUN Hockey Pool

Calgary blows it against Sharks

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Just when it looked like the Calgary Flames were going to pick up an easy two points, the win was snatched away.

Two late goals by the San Jose Sharks forced overtime and then a shootout in front of a sellout crowd of 17,496 last night at HP Pavilion.

And it was the Sharks who survived for a 3-2 victory.

Nils Ekman scored top shelf over Miikka Kiprusoff to complete the comeback in a sudden-death shootout after Jarome Iginla and Marco Sturm exchanged goals in the first round.

"It was a helluva game," said Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. "This was identical to every game we've had on this trip. It comes down to the last five minutes.

"In overtime, both teams could have had two or three goals. At least we got a point for it."

The Flames just couldn't bury the feisty Sharks, who beat Los Angeles Friday night with less than four seconds left in regulation.

Sharks goalie Nolan Schaefer, whose confidence has grown while he sits in for injured netminders Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala, made a handful of great saves in the opening minutes of the third period to keep his team competitive despite the fact it was the Sharks' third game in four nights.

A powerplay goal from Jonathan Cheechoo on a double deflection cut the lead to one after Iginla tipped Dion Phaneuf's wristshot past Schaefer for a 2-0 advantage late in the third.

With Schaefer on the bench, the Sharks tied the game 2-2 when defenceman Brad Stuart knocked the puck off defenceman Jordan Leopold's skate and brought the crowd back to life as their Sharks stole a point.

"We played a really strong game until the last five minutes," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. "I gave Stuart a little too much room there (on the tying goal).

"There's no doubt (that bounce) stinks. But we're playing a lot better now and not going to cry about breaks."

Steve Montador, a healthy scratch for seven games this season, scored his first goal of the year to put the Flames up 1-0 five minutes into the game.

Already on the powerplay in the first, Amonte missed a golden opportunity to put the Flames up by two when he was given a penalty shot after Wayne Primeau knocked him down from behind. Amonte came in on Schaefer's left side and tried to tuck the puck between the goaltender's pads but couldn't squeeze it through.

With the Flames powerplay struggling, it proved to be a smart move despite the penalty call.

Calgary had three man-advantage opportunities in the second period but despite plenty of chances to pull ahead, the Flames' troubles continued in the scoring department.

- - -

SAN JOSE SHARKS: 3

CALGARY FLAMES: 2

FLAMES LOSE IN SHOOTOUT


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