SUN Hockey Pool

Flames Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

COMING IN

After dropping the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Tuesday, the Flames are riding a three-game winning streak and have a 10-1-1 mark in the last dozen contests.

San Jose is coming off a 7-1 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Sharks have only one regulation-time loss in their last 10 games (7-1-2) and two in their last 26 outings.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

A little over a week ago, the Flames avenged a thrashing from November by beating the Sharks at home 5-2. San Jose won the first meeting of the season 6-1 on home ice.

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 19.5% (38-195, 12th); San Jose 23.5% (47-200, 4th).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 86% (4th); San Jose 85.7% (5th).

INJURIES

FLAMES -- LW Todd Bertuzzi (hip) is day-to-day. LW Brandon Prust (broken jaw), C Wayne Primeau (broken foot), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are out.

SHARKS -- RW Jody Shelley is day-to-day. D Brad Lukowich, C Torrey Mitchell and C Jeremy Roenick are out.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. Beware the Shark Attack: Last meeting, the Flames earned a measure of revenge on the Sharks by having a great first period and made amends for a humbling loss earlier this season. You know the Sharks will remember that 5-2 defeat from nine days ago and use it as motivation. San Jose is known for storming out of the gates, especially on home ice.

2. What happened to Iggy's pop?: It's a good sign so many Flames aren't far behind Jarome Iginla in the goal-scoring department, but it's a surprise the gap is close because he's not tallying as often. Iginla has 18 goals this season, not chicken scratch by any means, but not the pace expected from the sniper who lit the lamp 50 times last campaign.

3. A bumper harvest from Taber: Anybody who pegged Devin Setoguchi with all the other 40-goal scorers in the league when they drafted their pool is either a genius or flukey. A second-year NHLer and former first-round draft choice, Setoguchi has the benefit of often playing on a line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau and has taken full advantage of the situation.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

FLAMES

G Miikka Kiprusoff -- The Flames goalie is coming off a standout performance. Sure it was only St. Louis, but without a couple of big stops early in the contest and a few more in the dying moments of the second period, the Flames would have lost. Kiprusoff was pulled in both the last two games he's played in San Jose and you know he wants to exact a bit of revenge. He'll need to be on top of his game against the NHL's best club.

SHARKS

C Patrick Marleau -- A year ago, San Jose's captain was the subject of a litany of trade rumours and was struggling through a difficult campaign. Maybe it's the arrival of new head coach Todd McLellan or just a turning of the page to a new season, but Marleau has been at his best all year long. He's on pace for more than 40 goals and nearly 100 points and gives the Sharks two deadly weapons along with Joe Thornton.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

The Flames didn't practice yesterday before heading out to San Jose. Nor did they skate in Northern California. Therefore, it's impossible to tell whether LW Todd Bertuzzi's health has improved enough to return to the lineup after missing the last two games due to a hip flexor injury. He's listed as day-to-day ... Since losing in San Jose by that 6-1 margin more than two months ago, the Flames have gone on a 17-4-3 run, and a big reason for that has been the penalty killing, which has snuffed 82 of 90 shorthanded situations in those games -- a 91.1% rate. Now, the powerplay has started to pick it up again, too. It hasn't been pretty, but over the last half-dozen outings, the Flames have managed an 8-for-26 mark with the man-advantage, a 30.8% success rate ... The Sharks have yet to lose in regulation this season at home -- 20-0-2 -- and those home overtime losses have come at the hands of the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers, two teams currently on the outside of the playoff picture ... The Sharks are an impressive 6-1-2 this season against the Northwest Division ... How good are the Sharks out of the gates this season? They've outscored their opposition 53-36 in the first period and 49-24 in the second period ... Looking for the one knock on San Jose's game so far? They've surrendered six shorthanded goals against. Calgary's been even worse by allowing eight ... Flames RW Jarome Iginla needs 22 points to supplant Theoren Fleury as the franchise's all-time point producer, and remains near the top-10 in the NHL's scoring race, but he's netted only two goals and 10 points over the past 11 games, and both those goals and five of those points were in the New Year's Eve victory over Edmonton ... Out for more than a month since it was discovered he'd suffered a broken foot which he played through for several games, Wayne Primeau is back to wearing a walking cast and appears to still be at least a few more weeks from returning.


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