HP PAVILION — If drama isn’t your cup of tea, you probably could not have stomached Friday night’s San Jose Sharks game against the Calgary Flames.
Following an almost non-existent second period effort and a mountain of difficulty breaking down Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, the Sharks would come from behind with mere minutes left in the third period to beat the Flames 2-1 and extend their win streak to seven games.
Dan Boyle, who contributed yet another game-defining goal, summed up the game perfectly:
Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle
“It was a weird game. I mean, I’m sure you guys saw it. . . When the puck was just bouncing all over the place, spinning off guys’ sticks. It was just weird. It was one of those nights where, just kind of made you scratch your head on some of the things that were happening out there. But we stuck with it.”
Calgary would get the first goal of the game while on the man advantage with 2:05 left in the first; after a series of close calls and saves by Antti Niemi, Calgary’s Mikael Backlund would sneak the wrister past a hunched-over Niemi to put the Flames on the board 1-0.
The second period dragged on without a change in the score. San Jose would continue to outshoot Calgary, 25-18. Although their scoring chances to put the puck in the back of the net became fewer and farther between. Head coach Todd McLellan didn’t mince words when speaking of his distaste with the second period:
Sharks coach Todd McLellan
“We weren’t pleased with, basically, the whole 20 minutes in the second. A lot of shortcuts, a lot of looping, nowhere near the goaltender. . . No net intensity. So we tried to cheat the game a little bit, and it wasn’t going to work that way.”
But Team Teal would pick up the pace in the third, peppering Kiprusoff with a flurry of shots. Their efforts would finally pay off at 2:40, as Logan Couture would feed the puck to Dan Boyle, whose wrister from the slot would rocket the puck to the back of the net and tie the game 1-1. Matt Tennyson would also tally an assist.
The assault on Kiprusoff would continue, but frustration would grow as each of the Sharks 30-plus attempts were denied. But with the clock winding down and tension rising, the Sharks would get the jump on the Flames in dramatic fashion. Burns would slip and take a comedic spill during his shot attempt but Joe Pavelski was right on the doorstep to get the rebound and fire the puck past a kneeling Kiprusoff with 2:06 left in regulation.
When asked about the odd goal, Pavelski explained:
“I don’t know how it got down there. Gali (T.J. Galiardi) did a lot of good work early on. . . Burns-y’s coming down, he’s a huge body, creates a lot of traffic. . . It’s a great goal. It’s one that you love to get.”
The 2-1 victory brings the Sharks winning streak to seven; the same number of games they notched at the beginning of the year, before tail-spinning into a serious slump. When asked about the comparison of the two streaks, McLellan explained:
“I think we’re playing the right way right now, give or take segments of games where we let it get away on us. But right now we’re playing the type of hockey that allows to win consistently. “
The San Jose Sharks end their homestand Sunday, April 7 with a matinee against the Dallas Stars. The puck drops at 1:00 p.m.