Calgary - January 18, 2012 - In a game that showcased the best this fine sport has to offer, the Calgary Flames dropped yet another game in the shootout as the home town San Jose Sharks swam to victory on Tuesday night. The goaltenders stole the show on this night as the two net minders from Finland went save for save forcing this game into extra time.
Being as it was the first meeting of the season between these two western conference clubs, they understandably took a few minutes of adjusting before opening the game up in the final moments of the first period. Although it was not a terrible showing for the visiting Flames, they were however somewhat lucky to escape the initial frame in a scoreless tie as San Jose found a way to strike iron on three separate occasions through the first twenty minutes of play.
Calgary was rewarded at the 12:07 mark of the second period as Chris Butler scored just his second goal of season when an attempted pass by Jarome Iginla missed the intended target, before finding its way to the point as Butler stepped into a slap shot that beat Anti Niemi to the top right corner of the net. Unfortunately shortly thereafter Flames leading goal scorer Curtis Glencross collided violently into the side boards with big defensemen Brent Burns. This resulted in the end of his night as he was forced to leave the game due to a lower body injury at the midway mark of the second period.
As you would expect San Jose came out ready to play in the third period in an attempt to even the game up at ones. All it took was one defensive lapse by youngster TJ Brodie for the Sharks to tie the game as Torrey Mitchell snuck behind the coverage of the Flames defense before whacking a rebound past Miikka Kiprusoff. Jarome Iginla began to completely take control of the game from that point on as he registered a total of five hits in the third period alone while constantly creating havoc in the offensive zone alongside Mikael Backlund and Mike Cammalleri. A few mad scrambles by both teams would heighten the excitement level down the stretch for the viewer as time ran out with the score tied a one a piece.
For the second time in three games, Calgary was heading for extra time. The controversial moment of the game came very late into play as with just one minute remaining in overtime Jason Demers scored what he thought to be the game winning goal on the night. That however was deemed not to be the case as the referees collaborated and came to the decision that a San Jose forward had interfered with Miikka Kiprusoff on the play. This was clearly a blown call by the refs as it was Olli Jokinen who had actually bumped into his own goaltender. Thanks in large part to the men in stripes, this game would need a shootout.
Patrick Marleau - Miss
Jarome Iginla - Miss
Michael Handzus - Goal
Mike Cammalleri - Miss
Brent Burns - Goal
San Jose would go on to win the shootout by a 2-0 margin to hand the Calgary Flames their sixth loss of the season after regulation time. In my opinion this was one of the most entertaining games of the season as it featured a few great saves, big hits, a blown call and even a fight after time had expired.
- The top line of Cammalleri - Backlund - Iginla dominated on a shift to shift basis the entire night.
- Mikael Backlund showcased the skill set to be a very productive player in the NHL, should he continue to improve we may have a very good player on our hands in a year or two.
- Jarome Iginla played unbelievably well in the third period; I have not seen him throw the body that effectively in a long time.
- Miikka Kiprusoff was his usual self, simply awesome.
- A hard earned point in a tough building to play in is always welcome sight.
- The team competed from the drop of the puck all the way until the final buzzer in overtime.
- A loss is a loss; at this point in the season there is no such thing as a moral victory.
- Yet another potential injury to an impact player, we simply can not have Curtis Glencross miss an extended period of time due to an injury.
- We continue to struggle in both overtime and the shootout as both shooters failed to tally a goal.
1. Miikka Kiprusoff
2. Anti Niemi
3. Jarome Iginla