Sharks look sluggish in Calgary
Thomas Greiss finished with 22 saves, and was playing for the first time since Feb. 11 when the Sharks lost 6-2 in Columbus. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
CALGARY – Blake Comeau and Jarome Iginla scored third period goals less than two minutes apart, and the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night, 4-1.
The Sharks were sloppy for nearly the entire game, particularly on Iginla’s goal, which gave Calgary a two-goal cushion with 15:24 left in regulation. Ryane Clowe passed the puck to Douglas Murray in the high slot, but Jiri Hudler quickly checked Murray. Iginla picked up the loose puck and fired it past Thomas Greiss for his seventh of the year.
The way the Sharks’ offense has been going lately, the game was essentially over at that point. San Jose failed to score more than two goals in regulation for the 12th straight game, and 16th time in the last 17 games. They also failed to build any momentum from a road win in Vancouver the night before.
[RELATED: Boyle blunt in assessment of 4-1 loss]
San Jose fell to 11-7-4 after recording seven of a possible eight points in the previous four games. Calgary is now 9-8-4.
Calgary opened the scoring early. Greiss left a big rebound of a shot by Jay Bouwmeester, and Roman Cervenka easily deposited his third goal at 4:27 of the first period.
Despite their lack of execution, the Sharks managed to tie it in the second period. On an aggressive forecheck, Patrick Marleau helped to create a turnover by Mark Giordano. Joe Pavelski got control of the puck in the corner and fed Joe Thornton in front, and the captain slid home his fifth goal at 13:53 of the second.
That was all they would put past Miikka Kiprusoff, though, who was playing for the first time in more than a month.
San Jose went to the power play with 2:31 to go when Comeau was called for interference. Todd McLellan pulled Greiss to give the Sharks a two-man advantage in the offensive zone, but the team failed to generate any good scoring chances. Curtis Glencross scored in the empty net to make it 4-1.
San Jose finished 0-for-4 on the power play, including two third period advantages when they trailed by two goals and were trying to get back into the game.
The Sharks did kill off both Calgary power plays, which came on a pair of minors to Brad Stuart, one in each of the first two periods.
The Sharks second power play unit featured Matt Irwin, Jason Demers, Scott Gomez, James Sheppard and Ryane Clowe. Combined, that five-some has just two goals on the season – one each from Irwin and Gomez.
Greiss finished with 22 saves, and was playing for the first time since Feb. 11 when the Sharks lost 6-2 in Columbus. His appearance ended a streak of nine straight games by Antti Niemi. He fell to 1-3-0.
Kiprusoff, too, was playing for the first time in awhile. The Flames’ starter had missed the previous 13 games with a knee injury, but was taken off of injured reserve on Wednesday morning. He made 32 saves in recording his 16th career win against the Sharks, and 300th career win with the Flames.
In the only lineup change from Tuesday in Vancouver, TJ Galiardi returned in place of Bracken Kearns up front.
The Sharks return home to host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. They visit Denver on Sunday and St. Louis next Tuesday