San Jose Sharks Gut Out Win Over Calgary


The San Jose Sharks are in desperate need of points, especially when facing a divisional foe. San Jose took on the Calgary Flames with both teams tied in the Pacific Division at 40 points.

While it wasn’t the Sharks prettiest of games, San Jose took advantage of defensive miscues by Calgary to hold on for a 5-4 victory over the Flames on Monday night.

The Sharks were quick out of the gates in this one as Joe Thornton stole the puck from Joel Colborne and played a nice give-and-go with Joe Pavelski before sliding the puck between the legs of Karri Ramo to give San Jose a 1-0 lead more than five minutes into this one.

Before the midway point of the first, the Sharks doubled their lead as Joonas Donskoi tipped home a Brenden Dillon shot from the point for his sixth goal of the season, and second in the past two games. It would be a very big development for San Jose moving forward if they could receive regular contributions from guys like Donskoi in the second half.

Calgary would get one back before the end of the first as the Sharks were unable to clear the puck out of their zone, and it would eventually find Sean Monahan at the side of the net and he buried it for his 13th goal of the year.

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In the second, San Jose capitalized on another Calgary mistake as Logan Couture benefited from a giveaway by Mikael Backlund, skated around the net and fired one towards the net where the puck caromed in off a Flames defensemen in front. It was a big goal for Couture, his first of the season, and re-established the Sharks’ two-goal margin.

However, that lead would dissipate in a matter of 15 seconds as a four-minute double minor to Mike Brown for high-sticking and a tripping penalty to Brent Burns left the Sharks in a five-on-three hole. Dennis Wideman cut the deficit back to one as his wrist shot from the point found it’s way past Martin Jones. Then, Calgary executed a perfect rush up the ice as Backlund fed a streaking Sam Bennett and this game was tied in an instant.

From that moment on, San Jose was holding on for dear life as they recorded only five shots during the middle frame. While Jones didn’t look particularly good on the two power play goals, he stood tall when his teammates seemed to take a dip.

With things knotted up entering the third, it was the Sharks’ power play who came through when it mattered most. On their only attempt of the game, Patrick Marleau hit Brent Burns with a perfect cross-ice feed on the backside and Burns hammered home his 18th goal of the year.

San Jose would find some much needed breathing room as Joel Ward was able to sneak one through the legs of Ramo for what turned out to be the game-winning tally. Calgary would make things interesting as their league-worst power play would connect for the third time on the night as Micheal Ferlund netted his second of the season.

The penalty kill was definitely a concern in this one as the Sharks allowed the Flames to do whatever they wanted. In the end, Jones was able to stand tall and make enough big saves down the stretch to preserve a key two points for San Jose.

While the Sharks were outplayed for much of the night, it was nice to see San Jose buckle down and gut out a victory after being outshot 35-18 in this contest. Jones was able to hold the fort when needed, and the rest of the Sharks lineup came through even though they were shorthanded.

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San Jose lost Tommy Wingels to an upper-body injury in the first period after a collision with Donskoi, while they had a scary moment with Justin Braun who took a puck off his visor in the third. While Braun was able to return late in the third, it will be interesting to see what his status will be for tonight’s contest.

The Sharks won’t have long to dwell on this one as they take on the Winnipeg Jets to complete this brief two-game road trip, looking to put together a three-game winning streak for the first time since before Thanksgiving.