It was a comedy of errors.
Only the Calgary Flames weren't laughing.
Already down a pair of goals to the San Jose Sharks in the final minute of the second period, last night's clash at the Saddledome took a serious turn for the worse for the hosts during a wacky scene more befitting a blooper tape.
It started with Calgary blueliner Robyn Regehr unable to handle the pass at the offensive blueline and losing the puck to Patrick Marleau.
The Sharks captain was stopped by Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff on the breakaway but -- amidst the chaos that followed in the Flames zone -- both Kyle McLaren and Milan Michalek had rebound chances.
With Flames sprawled all over the ice, Michalek made no mistake facing what was a yawning cage.
End result from the disarray, a three-goal lead
en route to a Sharks 4-1 thumping of the Flames before a crowd of 19,289.
"Right from the drop of the puck, they were better than us in every area," said captain Jarome Iginla.
"All the way around, every one of us in front of Kipper, we weren't good enough tonight -- physically, being quick enough, once again our powerplay. We didn't deserve to win that game and, obviously, it wasn't close."
The Sharks had more punch, more determination, more fire.
The most emotion any Flame displayed came courtesy Daymond Langkow, who shattered his stick atop the San Jose net in frustration after he was robbed of a sure goal by Sharks netminder Vesa Toskala.
Head coach Jim Playfair berated his charges during a television time out just after the midway mark with his team down 2-0. Immediately after, the hosts managed some scoring chances, albeit to no avail.
"That's how we have to start games," said Playfair, the night's frustration written all over his face.
"We didn't compete hard enough in the hard areas for loose pucks, we didn't have enough players committed to the battle areas.
"The flurry was a late push that didn't mean much."
Playfair even tried mixing up his lines to find a spark, going as far as using his grinders on the powerplay.
"What we're trying to do is get our team game established and that's to play hard and compete hard," Playfair said. "That's what you do when you're trying to establish your special teams game. When your powerplay isn't working and you're trying to move it around being fancy, you simplify it -- get people out there who will go to the net and pay the price. That's what we were looking to accomplish."
Christian Ehrhoff, Steve Bernier and Mark Smith also scored for San Jose.
Only a late goal from Alex Tanguay, a powerplay goal that snapped Calgary's man-advantage drought at 24 missed chances, cracked Toskala's goose egg.
But it was a case of too little, too late.
"We're not going to make any excuses," said Iginla.
"We can all work harder, we can all be tougher in front of the net, we can all win back more pucks. That's what we're going to do."
Calgary embarks on a four-game road swing that begins Thursday in Ottawa, and runs through Toronto, Montreal and Boston.