Highlights: Sharks offense lets them down again
The Sharks have lost three straight in regulation for just the second time this season -- Dec. 5-8 (USATI)
Starved for offense, the Sharks finally managed to score a goal on Thursday night in Calgary.
It wasn’t enough, though, as San Jose lost its third straight game, 4-1 to the Flames at the Saddledome. The Sharks lost back-to-back games to the two worst teams in the Western Conference on a brief trip through Alberta, including a 3-0 defeat on Wednesday night in Edmonton.
Overall, the Sharks have dropped three straight, with just one goal over that span. They have lost three straight in regulation for just the second time this season (Dec. 5-8).
The rare goal came off of the stick of Eriah Hayes. Trailing 2-0 entering the third, a nice passing play from Patrick Marleau to Tommy Wingels to Hayes in the slot ended with the 25-year-old rookie’s first goal. Hayes beat Karri Ramo up high just 36 seconds after the faceoff, ending the Sharks’ scoring drought at 160 minutes and 36 seconds.
The Flames responded with a backbreaking goal later in the third, though. Alex Stalock had trouble reading a shot by Ladislav Smid off of the boards behind him, resulting in Sean Monahan tipping in a Joe Colborne pass at the 13-minute mark.
Jiri Hudler’s empty net marker with 1:46 to go ended it, as Calgary won its fourth straight game, all at home. Calgary beat the Sharks for the first time in four tries, and the Pacific Division rivals conclude their five-game season series back at the Saddledome on March 24.
Calgary outplayed the Sharks in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead. Lee Stempniak got position on Dan Boyle in front of the net, and tipped in the rebound of a Mikael Backlund shot, after Backlund maneuvered around Matt Irwin at 9:41.
That increased to 2-0 early in the second, on a misplay by Stalock. Again, it began with Backlund, whose slap shot went hard off of the back wall. Stlaock got turned around, and could not recover in time before Mark Giordano found the open net at 3:38.
San Jose’s best early chance to end its lengthy scoring drought came with about seven minutes to go in the middle frame. James Sheppard streaked in alone and made a move, but Ramo held the line. John McCarthy crashed the crease looking for the loose puck, and his attempt would have slid in were it not for Hayes’s skate in the blue paint.
San Jose entered the game with back-to-back goose eggs, including getting shut out in Los Angeles on Monday, 1-0.
The Sharks failed to convert on their only power play. Calgary was 0-for-2.
The Sharks are just 2-for-21 with a man advantage in the last 10 games. They have killed off 27 of 30 power play chances against in their last 13, though.
Stalock, who already had one win at the Saddledome earlier this season on Nov. 12, took the loss with 26 saves on 29 shots. He fell to 7-4-0 on the season.
Ramo made 27 saves, improving to 11-10-4.
Tyler Kennedy missed the game with a reported lower body injury. McCarthy and Sheppard drew into the lineup, while Mike Brown was scratched.
On defense, Irwin returned after a one-game absence in place of Scott Hannan.
The Sharks return home for the final four games before the Olympic break. They host Chicago on Saturday, followed by games every other day with Philadelphia, Dallas and Columbus. San Jose is 19-3-3 at home.