Of all people, it was James Sheppard who the San Jose Sharks were counting on to save the game in a shootout.
He did not come through as Karri Ramo made the stop and sealed the victory for the Calgary Flames, who defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in a game that was decided via the skills competition.
However, with a point gained, the Sharks officially clinched a spot in the postseason, making this their 10th consecutive season with a playoff appearance. While that may be more important in the larger scheme of things, any player will tell you that they wanted to finish it off with two points.
They’d have to settle for just one in a game that was evenly played by both teams and featured an unlikely goaltender duel between Ramo and Sharks’ backup Alex Stalock. Stalock stopped 26 shots, while Ramo had 33 saves.
The Sharks got on the board first late in the opening period. Fresh off a hard-earned penalty kill that featured terrific shot blocks by Logan Couture and Tommy Wingels, Sheppard scored into a gaping net after a shot by Matt Nieto hit Sheppard right in front as Ramo was out of position.
However, the Flames, after dominating play for much of the second period, tied the game at the 18:00 mark. A tremendous passing play by Tyler Wotherspoon and Curtis Glencross found Joe Colborne at the side of the goal with Stalock out of position this time. Colborne tied the game with a wrister.
Both teams have their chances to go in front in the third period, but neither could solve the goaltenders.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 34
- Power play: 0-for-2
- Hits: 7
- Giveaways: 2
- Takeaways: 5
- Faceoffs won: 31
- Shots on goal: 27
- Power play: 0-for-3
- Hits: 14
- Giveaways: 12
- Takeaways: 6
- Faceoffs won: 34
Good to Know
Per @EliasSports, the Sharks active streak of 10 consecutive playoff seasons is 2nd only to the Detroit Red Wings’ current streak of 22.
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) March 25, 2014
What’s on Tap
There will be no rest for the weary, as the Sharks are right back at it tomorrow night in Edmonton to face the lowly Oilers.